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Scott Edwards talks Stevie and Sesame Street


Carl
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Wanna know what it's like playing bass in Stevie Wonder's band? Me too.

In 1970, Scott Edwards, after years studying the work of Motown Funk Brother James Jamerson, finds out that Stevie Wonder is looking for a bass player. He's invited to play one show, which gets him the gig.

Scott stayed with Stevie until 1973, when he turned to session work, becoming a top gun in the Los Angeles scene. He played on hits for Hall & Oates, Smokey Robinson, and of course lots of Disco: "I Will Survive," "Bad Girls," "Shake Your Groove Thing," and many other records they blew up that night in Comiskey Park.

His story, for the most part is untold, which is why it was such a pleasure to get an in-depth look at his career and a remarkable history lesson. He speaks in booming tones fitting of a man who fills out the low end, and his recall is fabulous. His method when coming up with basslines in sessions was to hum it in his head and then bring it to his fingers, so once that bit was in his head, he had it forever.

As for Stevie Wonder, it was a pivotal time in his brilliant career. Stevie could call you in to record at any time, which he did to Scott on "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life." It was a time when Stevie had emancipated from Motown and was refining his live act, which was built on the kind of spontaneity the challenged even the best musicians.

Stevie opened for the Rolling Stones in 1972, but his most famous gig might be his Sesame Street appearance where he blasted through 6+ minutes of "Superstition." Thanks to YouTube, over 6 million folks have seen the clip, complete with Scott in the background. Scott explains that you can't pay attention to puppets or children when you're playing with Stevie, since you never know where he's going to veer off. When he takes that turn and you're right with him though, you have something special.

Scott Edwards interview

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