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Michael Manring

Hailed by many as the world’s leading solo bassist, Michael Manring has been pushing back the boundaries of what’s possible on the bass guitar for over three decades. While his technical skill and innovations always make an impression, it is his ability to communicate on a profound emotional level that most touches listeners. As editor Tom Darter wrote in Keyboard magazine after seeing one of Michael's solo concerts, "Forget his astounding technique and musicality; forget his absolute command of his instruments; forget how seamlessly the musical ideas and the performance of them were wedded together...The enlightenment came most from feeling (seeing, hearing) the joy Michael felt to be playing...his brand of transcendental chops and musical understanding...was all in the service of the final outcome, the joy of making music."

Building on the conceptions of his teacher, the late bass legend Jaco Pastorius, Michael has developed a new approach to the instrument that includes unorthodox tunings, techniques and methodologies. He has honed his skills on hundreds of recordings as a session musician and thousands of concerts throughout the world in venues including Carnegie Hall in NY, Yamaha Hall in Tokyo and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Michael has worked with a surprisingly diverse collection of musicians from New Age keyboardist Suzanne Ciani to avant-improv guitar innovator Henry Kaiser to celebrated folk troubadour John Gorka to experimental post-metal rockers Tim Alexander (Primus) and Alex Skolnick (Testament) to electro-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby. His long-term collaboration and close friendship with the late acoustic guitar genius Michael Hedges led to a lengthy stint as house bassist for Windham Hill Records; a label for whom he also worked as a solo artist, releasing four recordings under his own name: Unusual Weather (1986), Toward the Center of the Night (1989), Drastic Measures (1991) and Thonk (1994). These, along with his 1998 release The Book of Flame on the Alchemy record label earned him an international reputation as "a master of the fretless bass without rival." (Guitar Club Magazine, Italy). He has garnered two gold records, Grammy and Bammie nominations, a Berklee School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award, two Just Plain Folks Awards and numerous Bass Player Magazine Reader's Poll awards including 1994 Bassist of the Year. He was also the subject of a PBS TV documentary, “The Artist's Profile: Michael Manring” and a Youtube video of him playing his iconic solo piece “Selene” has well over a million views.

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Album Review

Carl Weingarten: The Simian River Collection 1980​-​2020

Read "The Simian River Collection 1980​-​2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Guitarist Carl Weingarten has had a long career as an independent artist: four decades of work, including over 30 releases on his label Multiphase Records. This triple-CD collection aims to provide a path through all of that diversity, along with the bonus of a few unreleased tracks for longtime fans. The organization is roughly chronological: each disc covers a range of years, but the track order was determined by sound and flow rather than strict chronological order. Disc ...

Album Review

David Franklin: Passings

Read "Passings" reviewed by Robin B James

Deep and wonderful instrumental music, mostly acoustic guitar, sometimes with fretless bass, and sometimes just a piano with no guitar, always flowing and gently weighty. “Passing" can mean a play that involves one player throwing the ball, or a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something, and it can refer to the act or fact of dying. This music is unique and can suit any situation of intricate beauty. On Passings, David ...

Album Review

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar 2 - Remixes

Read "Fractal Guitar 2 - Remixes" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Guitarist & composer Stephan Thelen's experimental guitar-fest Fractal Guitar (MoonJune Records, 2019) was followed by Fractal Guitar Remixes And Extra Tracks (MoonJune Records, 2019), a substantially fresh look at the material, as well as an expansion. For the sequel Fractal Guitar 2 (Moonjune Records, 2021) Thelen produced an even more radical approach to contemporary guitar-driven music. The remixes are also a step beyond. To start with, the album could just as well have been titled “Point Of Inflection ...

Radio & Podcasts

New releases from Trio Grande, Chris Potter, Michael Manring and more

Read "New releases from Trio Grande, Chris Potter, Michael Manring and more" reviewed by Len Davis

Challenging music from A Love Supreme Electric, Trio Grande and much more. Playlist The Backstage “Isolation" from Isolation (Self Produced) 00:00 Trio Grande “Scoville" from Trio Grande (Whirlwind Records) 06:45 Henry Kaiser-Vinny Golia “Acknowledgement" from A Love Supreme Electric (Cuneiform) 13:36 Chris Potter “Rising Over You" from There is a Tide (Edition) 20:24 Sonar with David Torn “Red Sky" from Tranceportation (Rare Noise) 27:15 Michael Manring “The Fire Sermon" from The Book of Flame (Alchemy) 34:08 Michael Manring ...

Album Review

Michael Manring: The Book of Flame

Read "The Book of Flame" reviewed by John W. Patterson

Manring is a master of innovation and way crazy funk fun on the bass. He slaps his Zon bass silly, samples, loops, E-Bows, processes and ultra-sustains his songs into a universe all his own. This is one of the best solo efforts Manring has put on the table to date. I have owned or sampled most of his offerings but on The Book of Flame ALL the stops are pulled out and a real beast is unleashed. Some folks labeled ...

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"...the hottest bassist today."

Jeff Widmer

The Philadelphia Inquirer

‘Every instrument has its technical innovators, and its pioneers who explore the emotional and expressive potential. Very rarely are the two combined in the same person – John Coltrane did it for the tenor sax, Keith Jarrett for the piano and Michael Manring for the bass guitar."

Steve Lawson

Bass Guitar Magazine (UK)

"Michael Manring has redefined the role of the bass."

Craig Harris

Boston Globe

"He is undoubtedly the most astonishing player you'll ever see. His approach is totally his own, and beyond the jaw-dropping pyrotechnics is a deep, emotional connection to the music you won't hear from many people. I've listened to him for years, but sitting there in person is a life altering experience. I'm not kidding!"

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Matt Skellenger
bass, electric




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Simian River...

MultiPhase Records



Self Produced


For The Love Of Bass

Self Produced


Fractal Guitar 2 -...

MoonJune Records


Three Short Stories

Self Produced


Aerial Views

MMG Records: Produced by Will Ackerman


True North X

From: Three Short Stories
By Michael Manring



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