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Act Doug Wimbish

Doug Wimbish
Doug Wimbish

Since the days of Fats Comet's Big Sound the hard-working American bassist has been a corner stone of much of On-U's output:

Doug Wimbish hails from Hartford, Connecticut. He grew up to the sounds of the 60s and 70s music strumming in his ears and became inspired with exposure to such greats as Miles Davis, Sly And The Family Stone and George Clinton. Doug was given his first guitar at the age of 12 and played both guitar and bass, but by the age of 17 the bass was where his passion lived. With Doug's thirst for music, his mission began. He attended workshops at the local Artist Collective and studied theory at the Hartford Conservatory. It was there he met Jackie McClean, Jaki Byard and Skip McDonald. Directly out of high school, Doug began playing with a local band Wood Brass And Steel, who released an album in 1976 entitled, "Welcome To The Party" for All Platinum Records.

His career took off, as many do, in New York City. There he cut his teeth as the bassist in the house band of the legendary rap label Sugar Hill, backing Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five on their epochal "The Message" album, among many others. As the '80s wore on, though, Sugar Hill found itself overtaken by hip-hop innovations outside its stable of artists, and its house band had already formed a productive relationship with British dub reggae experimentalist Adrian Sherwood. Wimbish, guitarist Skip McDonald, and drummer Keith LeBlanc began working on a variety of projects with Sherwood, including backing ex-Pop Group member Mark Stewart on his solo recordings and issuing their own 12" singles under the name Fats Comet.

"Major Malfunction" was released in 1986 under Keith LeBlanc's name, although it was essentially a group collaboration; that group dynamic became official when the trio christened themselves Tackhead and began recording full-length works with Sherwood. However, their two albums, 1989's "Friendly As A Hand Grenade" and 1990's "Strange Things", didn't quite capture the avant-garde Funkadelic-meets-Lee Perry experiments of their earlier work or LeBlanc's "solo" albums.

When Living Colour bassist Muzz Skillings departed his band in 1992, Wimbish was tapped as his replacement. However, after 1993's "Stain", the group disbanded, and Wimbish returned to session work, playing on albums by Madonna, Annie Lennox, Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones, Ron Wood, Seal, Joe Satriani, and many others, plus the occasional Sherwood project. Wimbish also reunited with Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun in the experimental funk/electronica trio whose self-titled album was called "Jungle Funk".

The 'Trippy Notes For Bass' LP
The "Trippy Notes For Bass" LP

In 1999, Sherwood's On-U Sound label issued Wimbish's first solo album, "Trippy Notes for Bass" (ON-U LP 91). Then on December 22, 2000 Living Colour re-formed for a one-off show at New York's legendary CBGB's. The show was dynamite and rekindled the desire of Doug, Vernon, Will and Corey to play together. A small tour of the West coast drew huge and enthusiastic crowds. Then they were off for a string of dates in Europe, including the Montreux Jazz Festival.

After over 20 years as an innovator, collaborator and explorer of music and bass, Doug continues to ride the cutting edge.

(Compiled from Doug's official biography at and also another originally at

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Adrian Sherwood
African Head Charge
Andy Fairley
Annie Anxiety / Little Annie
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Charlie "Eskimo Fox"
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Doug Wimbish
    . Biography
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