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Boats' Secret Weapon: David Wintour

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Rock bassists oftentimes are locked into the root/5th concept. That usually sounds fine..... but unexceptional.

There are some bassists who think "out of the box". They almost *force* me to get lost in the brilliance of their basslines. David Wintour is one of those bassists. His work is not aggressively "in your face" like some of rock's most heralded bassists (John Entwistle, Jack Bruce). Wintour is subtle and incredibly melodic (I would consider him to be McCartney-esque). None of his fills scream "look at me". All of his basslines fit the music like a glove. They never fail to serve the music.

Fretless bass (when played correctly) gives music a flavor that is more luscious than the traditional fretted bass. I rarely hear fretless bass in rock recordings (it is more of a jazz thing). Wintour's fretless tone is amazing. He makes frequent use of slides that are both subtle & devastating (yes, it is possible to do both at the same time!).

Eric - I assume that Wintour was one of Dudgeon's London "sessions guys" that were thrust upon you after you were forced to abandon the use of the orgininal band from the first album. If so, what a stroke of luck to have an obviously mismatched producer bring such a perfectly suited talent to the project.

Did you insist that he play fretless? From my perspective, Wintour's fretless work was the cherry on the top of that incredible Boats Against The Current sundae.

For what it's worth: Wintour's work on "Heaven Can Wait" is also exceptional.

I can't believe that I missed the Boats tour....... :(

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Sorry it took me so long to reply to this post. 

First, I have a shock for you. DAVID IS NOT PLAYING A FRETLESS BASS!!!!!! Yes, you heard me right. He was playing a Fender Precision or Fender Jazz bass, WITH FRETS! 

He just happens to be such an unbelievably brilliant, melodic and smooth bass player that it SOUNDS as if there aren't any frets. 

I must now confess that you are now talking to the president of the David Wintour Fan Club. 

His playing on the "Boats Against The Current Album" amazes me to this day, every time I hear it. David and I became really great friends over the course of recording that album, and he is an absolutely lovely person, as well as a great bassist.

The two of us were so "locked" at the end of "Nowhere To Hide" that the left hand of my piano literally disappears beneath his bass notes because they were played together, down to the nanosecond. And the beautiful "sixths" he played on those three last chords were improvised, on the spot, during the final take. It was soooo perfect, I seem to remember looking over at him, and giggling, after the last note had finally ended. Genius, that!

And his playing on "Run Away" and "Boats" was every bit as perfect. 

In the midst of the hell that Gus Dudgeon brought to that recording, David's brilliance and sensitivity made it all bearable

I always thought if Paul McCartney listened to those tracks, HE would have been knocked out!

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MikeD   

I,too, always loved David's playing on the Boats LP. His playing on the bridge of Marathon Man is so brilliant. I also love his work on She Did It. So melodic yet never obtrusive to the song. Questions for Eric- Was David in any bands prior or post working with you? Is he still active as a session player?

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On 10/2/2014 at 5:22 PM, Eric Carmen said:

Sorry it took me so long to reply to this post. 

First, I have a shock for you. DAVID IS NOT PLAYING A FRETLESS BASS!!!!!! Yes, you heard me right. He was playing a Fender Precision or Fender Jazz bass, WITH FRETS! 

He just happens to be such an unbelievably brilliant, melodic and smooth bass player that it SOUNDS as if there aren't any frets. 

I must now confess that you are now talking to the president of the David Wintour Fan Club. 

His playing on the "Boats Against The Current Album" amazes me to this day, every time I hear it. David and I became really great friends over the course of recording that album, and he is an absolutely lovely person, as well as a great bassist.

Wow. I admit to being truly amazed that it was not a fretless. I only wish that we could have heard more from the Carmen/Wintour combination (other than the four tracks from Change of Heart).

Such a degree of synergy between two players is rare.

Was it the same during the Change of Heart sessions?

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