Norm Stockton: “I’ve always strived to abolish my track something that speaks to the coronary heart”

Norm Stockton: “I’ve always strived to abolish my track something that speaks to the coronary heart”


Norm Stockton



(Image credit: Lauren Stockton)

Versatile bass guitar maestro Norm Stockton has labored with loads of artists over his multi-decade profession. He is equally adept at working with American Idol superstar Clark Beckham as he is within the realm of soft jazz-funk with Steve Laury of Fattburger.

His rock chops are stout, and his thirst for exploring the odds of I track in all its types agree with led him to study the grooves in West African polyrhythms.

As well to his bass adventures, Norm is an educator who has released a successfully-acquired collection of tutorial DVDs and the book, The Cherish Bass E-book: Bass, Espresso & The Art Of Groove. He continuously conducts masterclasses at track colleges in Los Angeles and London, and his site ArtofGroove.com (opens in new tab) boasts subscribers from through the enviornment.

Norm’s solo works characteristic high-calibre site visitors along side John Patitucci, Gregg Bissonette, Etienne Mbappé and more. He has labored with a raft of Grammy winners, and turn out to be the trip-to reside bassist for the chart-topping contend with track artist Lincoln Brewster for six years.

His track and his Christian faith are entrance and centre in his life and work: there is a philosophical part to his track that is easy to adore. Now basically based in Orange County, California, Norm chats with us about 5 albums that agree with marked key moments in his profession up to now.

Norm Stockon – Grooves And Sushi (2021) 

“Sushi is selection of a habitual theme with me. I’m half Jap, born and raised in Japan, so it’s shut to my coronary heart. What turn out to be in truth exciting about this for me turn out to be that it turn out to be the first mission I ever did as a toddle-setter where it turn out to be all tracked reside. 

A testimony to the fantastic gamers on it

“The root turn out to be that we’d file for at some point soon and it’d be performed. Then I believed, ‘If we’re gonna map that, how unprecedented more challenging would it be to agree with a digital camera crew there to shoot it so we’re ready to in truth see the performances?’ It’s a unprecedented more involved direction of, nonetheless I turn out to be already too a ways down that aspect dual carriageway by then, so we did four a range of shoots with four a range of ensembles. 

“We thought it’d be more or less enjoyable to agree with sushi and clarify stories, and even presumably throw a pair of those stories in on the file! I had hundreds challenging conversations, so it ended up being a net-based collection with of us esteem Gregg Bissonette speaking about working with Ringo, and Chris Coleman speaking about playing with Prince. 

“It turn out to be with out a doubt a thrill and a challenge, because we had been playing track that had by no procedure been performed outdated to, in an ensemble that had by no procedure played together. It’s testimony to the fantastic gamers that had been on the mission that it all came out amazingly successfully.”

Norm Stockon – Tea Within the Typhoon (2010)

“At the same time as you happen to’re an fair artist, you agree with gotten got full autonomy over the artistic commentary you’re making. You don’t agree with a designate telling you that it desires to be more commercial or whatever, so I’ve always strived to abolish my track something that speaks to the coronary heart, and genuinely moves any individual on an emotional stage. I turn out to be immersing the daylights out of myself with the West African track that I turn out to be being attentive to, and that inspired the writing.

It’s no longer breaking any crazy new floor, nonetheless the technique to time and the technique to groove and the beat placement, all of which would possibly perhaps be very a range of than a fashioned Western design

“Technique-sensible, a range of it’s fingerstyle. It’s no longer breaking any crazy new floor, nonetheless the technique to time and the technique to groove and the beat placement, all of which would possibly perhaps be very a range of than a fashioned Western design. Dave Owens, the drummer, turn out to be me on to an album known as Tchokola by Jean-Luc Ponty; the rhythm half is all West African gamers who lived in Paris at the time and they are correct fantastic. 

“From there I started being attentive to a range of West African stuff, and turn out to be shown that 12/8 stuff and that 6 over 4 in truth feel. These musicians map that, seamlessly, going encourage and forth, and to a Western musician you’re esteem, ‘Man, this grooves esteem enraged… nonetheless wait, where’s the one?’ It’s in truth challenging track.”

Norm Stockon – Pondering the Sushi (2003)

“My first mission as a toddle-setter – and where the sushi motif started. At the time I turn out to be a clinician with a Christian designate known as Maranatha! Tune, largely going to church buildings all the procedure by the united states and Canada, doing tutorial stuff. 

The entirety turn out to be tracked utilizing a Roland VS-1680 in accommodations around North America

“I’d agree with a room pudgy of bassists and I believed it’d be spacious to grasp around on further days and in truth educate wanted stuff. So that ended up as a pair of films, having a glance at timekeeping, groove, phrasing, no longer overplaying. Then of us asked me: ‘The put’s your have track?’ Pondering the Sushi is my reply. 

“The entirety turn out to be tracked utilizing a Roland VS-1680 in accommodations around North America, alongside a guitar player, Kevin Rogers. He’d design over and we’d skedaddle in and lay down tracks. I tracked my solo model of The Important individual Spangled Banner one night in Novel York City overlooking Manhattan. It turn out to be moderately a moment. After we went to combine it we couldn’t employ the 1680, so had to transfer it utilizing MIDI timecode. 

“In places I’m capable of clarify issues swam a little bit bit, time-sensible, consequently of the sync factors, nonetheless no one’s ever seen, no longer no longer up to no longer yet! Tangentially, even if, in truth one of many hardest skills to manufacture is the flexibility to step encourage and trip: ‘Yeah, it wasn’t very finest, alternatively it turn out to be musical.’ Exhaust your ears to edit, no longer what the mask tells you.”

Lincoln Brewster – This day Is the Day (2008)

“Lincoln is guitarist who played with Steve Perry of Gallop for a whereas. He would possibly be very successfully identified as a up-to-the-minute contend with artist and I’ve labored with him for moderately about a years. This turn out to be a extraordinarily distinguished album for me, no longer correct on an exposure stage nonetheless because it covered a extraordinarily astronomical range of kinds. 

This turn out to be a extraordinarily distinguished album for me, no longer correct on an exposure stage nonetheless because it covered a extraordinarily astronomical range of kinds

“I came up in track as a rock and prog man, nonetheless then I seen Chick Corea play, and later the Stu Hamm band, which modified my trajectory entirely. I’ll presumably perhaps well map rock, nonetheless turn out to be burnt out with it. Lincoln, even if, is a rock man. He would name me out that it turn out to be no longer a fusion album. There’s a special technique to play eighth notes in a rock context; a range of phrasing, reward length, and all that. We did everything from John Mayer-ish blues to excessive-caffeinated rockers and rock gospel model stuff. 

“I grew loads as a rock player on this album. It’s very easy to lose what makes it contend with track, what makes it resonate with any individual on a spiritual stage. We had been ready to aid the point of hobby on where the track turn out to be saying what the lyrics had been saying. Songs from this album are aloof played in church buildings each and every Sunday through the enviornment.”

Steve Laury – Vineland Dreams (1996)

“Steve turn out to be the conventional player in Fattburger, a large soft-jazz band within the States and Asia. He is an fantastic jazz guitarist. This album turn out to be released on CTI Records, where George Benson, Ron Carter etc had been all artists. 

Funnily ample, it came out the 365 days after my first write-up in Bass Player. I with out a doubt felt that issues had been progressing within the moral course at that point!

“It turn out to be my first moral nationwide unencumber – everything I’d performed up to then turn out to be with native or regional artists. It turn out to be encourage within the days when it turn out to be so exciting to peek it in truth on sale accessible in Tower Records. 

“I lived in San Diego where Steve turn out to be also basically based; we turn out to be buddies and I played on two of the songs as successfully as doing the total sequencing on those tracks. I turn out to be playing a Modulus Quantum V SPI on this album. 

“Later I archaic my MTD J5 which turn out to be a prototype for his or her Saratoga basses and within the slay my signature MTD. It turn out to be Michael Tobias’s model of a more or less Jazz bass, and it’s a extraordinarily spacious rock bass, very aggressive-sounding. 

“On my first solo album I archaic a range of results, and then no longer a single one on Tea, nonetheless then I went encourage to more textural stuff – a less-archaic application of it – on the most up-to-date file. Funnily ample, it came out the 365 days after my first write-up in Bass Player. I with out a doubt felt that issues had been progressing within the moral course at that point!”

  • Norm Stockton (opens in new tab)

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