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James Whiton (solo)
February 13, 2013
Yoshi's Local Talent Series: FREE Live Music in The Lounge 6:30pm to 9:30pm!
"There were three people paying attention to James Whiton play his double bass onstage at Cafe Van Kleef, and I was lucky enough to be one of them, sipping a greyhound and watching Whiton's winced, solemn expression mirror the face of the genie bust that glowers from a shelf above the stage. The other people watching him play, two guys at a table behind me, yelled out requests: "Play some Coltrane," which Whiton did, followed by compositions by Charles Mingus and Miles Davis, but then he performed an avant-garde cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." Whiton holds his bass like he's taming a wild animal, whipping his bow against the strings, viciously plucking them, even using its wooden body as a drum, but other times he gently pets it in delicate strokes, allowing softness to emit from its bones. While waiting in line for the restroom, I struck up a conversation with one of the two obnoxious guys at the other table, commenting on Whiton's artistry, to which he replied, "Yeah, he's pretty good." His jaw dropped when I replied that the man onstage was the bassist for Tom Waits."
-Whitney Phaneuf, "Top Live Shows of 2012," East Bay Express, 12-26-2012
James Whiton plays the Double Bass differently than anyone you have ever heard. He has outstanding technique combined with a beautiful sense of musicianship, but the most remarkable thing about listening to him play is the strength of his voice on the instrument.
Currently, James lives in SF, CA but he's spending a lot of time on the road, playing as full-time bass player with the Eric McFadden Trio and Terese Taylor.
In 2011, he was asked to record with the brilliant and iconic Tom Waits and is featured on several tracks of Waits' album Bad as Me.
When he’s not on the road or in the studio, James plays both as a solo artist and with several different Bay Area ensembles.
James Whiton's website