I’ll admit from the start, this performance isn’t exactly the most timely thing out there. In fact, this NPR Tiny Desk concert is from October 2017. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of the freshest things I’ve heard in awhile.
Earlier this week, Humantweeted a video clip of a bass solo that reality altering. And/or my brain melted and poured out of my ears.
— Human (@humanfunction) June 19, 2018
The solo in the tweet shows up at about 8:45 in the full video above, but do yourself a favor and just listen to the whole thing.
So who is this bass destroying virtuoso, it’s Stephen Bruner, akaThundercat. He’s collaborated with just about everyone: Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu and last year he put out an incredible album. If you want to know more, Rolling Stone has a great profile on him dating back to 2015.
“He’ll play you a piece of a song and you’ll go, ‘OK,’ and then he’ll suddenly add the melody in and it becomes this brilliant thing,” says his long-time friend and collaborator, the saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who plays tenor on “u.” “It’s like seeing a great painter with a canvas that looks like a lot of nothing, and then one little stroke goes and you’re like, ‘Wow you saw that the whole time?” He hears things in songs that other people don’t hear.”His Brainfeeder labelmate, DJ-producer the Gaslamp Killer, describes the bassist as one of the most “clear, focused, driven, and intelligent personalities you’ll ever meet. He can play the most intricate jazz, funk and soul and then shred with some 180 BPM punk Suicidal Tendencies riffs.”