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Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States

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Gary Willis biography
Gary Willis is a bass player from the US known mostly for his work with Tribal Tech from 1984 to 2000, as well as several solo albums. On Gary's most recent album, 'Actual Fiction', Kirk Covington and Libert Fortuny make up the other two thirds of his power jazz-funk trio. Gary has also worked with other stellar fusion musicians such as Wayne Shorter, Dennis Chambers and Alan Holdsworth.

One of Gary's earliest musical performances was a solo vocal and guitar rendition of 'We May Never Pass This Way Again', which he performed for the 1974 graduating class at Pine Tree High School in Longview Texas. From Pine Tree High School, Gary moved on to East Texas State University (now called Texas A&M at Commerce TX) where he joined the school's jazz combo with other future pro jazz performers such as Nate Vinson who went on to form the avant drumnbass project known as beep squawk. Gary was still a guitarist at this point, but the ETSU combo already had a guitarist named Bruce Hodge who wasn't going to readily give up the instrument that had helped him meet so many young ladies. Since the group had no bassist, it only made since for Gary to switch to bass, thus a future fusion star bassist was on his way.

While at ETSU Gary also met future acid jazz sub-star John Sanders, who would go on to form several bands of his own such as New Power Soul, Memphis Mystics and Zazerac. While at school, Willis and Sanders recorded an avant-garde improvisation on 8-track tape which Gary used for his term paper on John Cage and the use of pure sound in music.

Gary is also a published author with several books out on bass playing. Gary's favorite expression is 'What you talkin about Willis', from an old TV sitcom.

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GARY WILLIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 4 ratings
No Sweat
4.00 | 6 ratings
4.00 | 3 ratings
Actual Fiction
4.33 | 3 ratings
4.14 | 5 ratings
Larger Than Life

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GARY WILLIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Larger Than Life by WILLIS, GARY album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.14 | 5 ratings

Larger Than Life
Gary Willis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by WFV

4 stars This is an excellent contemporary fusion record from a criminally underrated artist. If true fans of jazz+rock connect enough dots, their exploits will eventually lead them to Tribal Tech's duo of guitarist Scott Henderson and bassist Gary Willis. Both of them solo and together explode out of your speakers, and this is Willis' fourth solo outing. This record is on the funk end of the fusion spectrum. There are electronic beats here and there like in some John Scofield albums, but it's obvious on every song this is meant as a collective statement. I'm not a Willis or Tribal Tech freak by any means (I only own Actual Fiction from Willis and a few pretty good discs from Tribal Tech) but like FZ says "You know good stuff when you hear it". This is good stuff, definitely material that can be listened with a few suds a few friends and a smoking grill.
Thanks to easy money for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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