Jason Raso is a Guelph, Ontario based bassist, composer and instructor who has 8 discs to his credit, the latest of which is called Slingshot performed and recorded with the Jason Raso Quartet.
He blends jazz with elements of funk but (perhaps surprisingly) comes from a foundation of rock music that influenced him early on in his bass playing career.
Bass Guitar Rocks (a.k.a Mike) had the chance to sit down with Jason recently and pick his brain on how he came to be the bassist that he is today as well as get into the process of creating and recording Slingshot – (check out the BGR review for it here).
Before sitting down with Jason, I knew he was a skilled and seasoned player…but I had no idea how funny and personable he could be as well. We had a lot of fun in this interview and I think you’ll have a lot of fun listening in on the conversation as well!
This is part one of a three part interview. This first installment covers Jason’s influences, his first bass and how he learned how to play bass guitar.
- Why he likes instrumental music and got into jazz
- His first concert experience
- His favourite Kiss song
- The Metallica/Jaco Pastorius connection
- A funny incident involving a Bela Fleck and the Flecktones CD
- How he got into funk music
- Why he chose to play bass guitar
- “There’s no cool keyboard players in rock”.
- Getting acquainted with the sound of the bass guitar
- His first bass guitar
- Searching for a lefty bass in Guelph in the early 90’s
- Jason’s abilities on fretless bass
- Falling head over heels for Spector basses
- Being self taught – “faking” his way through jazz band.
- Wanting to write his own songs
- The fabled Fostex tape machine
- On reading and music theory
You can listen to the straight audio by clicking the player at the top of this page, or click on the video below to enjoy some stills of Jason in action along with artwork from his latest CD.