We'd like to Welcome the incredible
Tinker Barfield R&B Bassist extraordinaire, Composer, Arranger & much more, to the
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly feature as our Special Guest Artist! Welcome Tinker,
and thank you for giving us & all of the OL site Visitors, for what will be a 7-part Interview on the... Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
for the entire week of 8/1/10.
Once again, thank you and welcome...
and thank you for having me on OL.
We'd like to start right off...your recent Radio Appearance on WBAI, which by courtesy of WBAI, our OL Viewers can listen right here, as you're being interviewed about your
long-standing career in the Music Business, spanning over a period of over 30 years. working as a Professional Bassist in so many different genres of music,
with so many superstars...
Tinker, if You can please share with us,
the many colors of your career in the
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly series, starting with your years in the Legendary Luther Vandross Band and the on-stage memories and miles covered during that magical time of Luther...?
I have the most wonderful and vivid memories of my time with Luther, who was an extraordinary artist! We laughed together, cried together, were disappointed together. We went through all the emotions of family. Luther hand picked everyone in his organization and it was quite an ensemble. Serious bus and truck tour!
And it progressively grew from one year to the next.
How did you come to join the
Luther Vandross Band?
I got a call from Marcus Miller who was doing everything! He was working with Miles and couldn't do the tour. Nat Adderley Jr. was the MD for LV and they suggested to Luther to call me. Luther agreed! Marcus called,
and I said, Yesssssssssssss!
What was it like working with Mr. Vandross?
Awesome! You learn so much on so many levels.
In the recording sessions with Luther,
what was his process approach on how he liked to record his tracks?
After deciding what he was going to record, he'd lay the rhythm tracks first. Depending on the song, he might sing, he might not. As the tracks grew he would add what he thought it needed to take it to the next level. If something wasn't quite right, or it needed something different,
he'd make that adjustment.
And the results speak for themselves.
In recording your bass tracks with Luther;
did your playing style approach differ from performing on his 'live shows with the band?
Yes! It was different. Playing live and recording in the studio are different. However, you can record a song with a live feel to it, like I've just recorded with
"My Lover's Arms," or you can record a song with what I call a studio feel,
which is what I did on "I Miss You Mama."
What is your favorite Luther Vandross recording?
There's so many to choose from! Even if my life depended on it, It would be difficult.
'So Amazing', 'A House Is Not A Home',
'If This World Were Mine', 'Superstar', 'Dance With My Father',
'Anyone Who Had A Heart'...
As a long-standing member of the LV Band,
if You can share with us, one of your
favorite memories with the other
Band members, while on tour?
After one of the concerts,
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album
was all the rage. Luther had dancers on that tour. All the guys were gathered together in the dressing room. Someone started singing Thriller and we all fell into place and starting doing the choreography! It was Amazing!
When you first picked up the bass and started playing, what was that moment like,
and was that always your first instrument?
It was a spiritual connection when I picked up the bass for the first time.
It was the instrument for me to express me.
My uncle brought me my first bass. My father wanted me to play guitar! And he provided a ton of guitars for me to choose from.
Couldn't play it for beans!
What's your favorite choice of bass instrument that you play with, now?
I've always liked the Fender Jazz Bass,
and still do!
I have a 1969 model that I love!
When you're on the road, how many bass instruments do You to take with you?
One! However, if I'm touring for a few months, then I'll take two or three.
It all depends on who I'm working with.
After being the Man on the Bass, the musical back-bone for so many, as WBAI Radio Host Esther Armah echoes, you're now paused to add yet another exciting new chapter in your music career, but this time you're in the spotlight, front and center, as Tinker B., along with your group Lu-Fuki, officially known as, Tinker B. & Lu-Fuki. We know who Tinker B. is, so tell us about the origin name of Lu-Fuki, and what it means to You to now step out as the front man of your own group?
The name Lu-Fuki came from Alfa! She heard the term in a conversation she had with a college student. She mentioned it to me and
I loved it. The meaning of the name speaks about most of the musicians I know. We've been around for sometime and come from a deep place. This experience of being front man is exhilarating! I'm absolutely loving it! With a little nerves on the side!
What genre or genres of music will
Tinker B. & Lu-Fuki concentrate on mostly?
I come from a foundation of R&B and Funk!
I love all kinds of music. However, Duke and Miles said it best, "There's only two kinds of music. Good and Bad!"
I say, You can feel it or you can't!
You have 2 CD Singles out under the name of Tinker B. & Lu-Fuki "MY LOVER'S ARMS" and
"I MISS YOU MAMA." Just from the mp3 samplers we can listen to right here,
these are stellar tracks.
Starting with "My Lover's Arms" as your first release, featuring A REUNION, all 3 Singers formerly of the famed Disco Group CHIC... What was it like to have your wife
Alfa Anderson, along with Luci Martin & Norma Jean Wright,
to have all 3 singing on your original track?
It was a Blast! We had soooooo much fun.
I thank them very much for doing it;
giving of themselves... all out!
It is history! They haven't worked together
since the days of Chic.
The track "My Lover's Arms" has a nice R&B dance shuffle feel to it. The hook is great and from the jump,
is infectious to the listening ear.
We look forward tomorrow in Part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as Bassist Tinker Barfield shares some liner notes on the making of "MY LOVER'S ARMS" and the entire Musicians cast on this track.
Thank you very much Tinker,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, as we conclude this OL Interview 1 of 7 segment?
Whatever you do! However you do it.
If it works for you and doesn't destroy,
but builds, DO IT!
The world cannot exist without music.
You are needed! You are necessary!
Thank you Tinker Barfield.
We'll see You tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly! ...
Where there's a lot more to come with our Special Guest Artist of the week
R&B Bassist Great Tinker Barfield.