Nathan East is a legendary bassist who has played, recorded and toured with the biggest names in music, including Barry White, Anita Baker, BB King, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, George Harrison, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Sting and Stevie Wonder.
Nathan talks about being back in his beloved home town of San Diego, how he got his start as a musician playing in church with his brothers, and how by age 16 he was discovered by Barry White and taken on tour with Barry and the Love Unlimited Orchestra, playing venues like the Madison Square Garden, The Apollo Theater and The Kennedy Center. He tells us about starting out at Crawford High School in San Diego and continuing his musical education at UCSD, being noticed by Gene Page, (arranger for Barry White, The Jacksons, Elton John and Dion Warwick), who started calling Nathan for recording sessions in LA. Nathan stresses the importance a positive personality plays in getting hired as a session player and goes on to talk about his signature bass – the Yamaha BBNE2, which he helped design.
We talk to Nathan about releasing his frst solo album after so many years of playing in a supporting role. Nathan talks about some of the long-time friends who played on the album, including Michael McDonald, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Sara Bareilles and even Nathan’s 13-yr old son, Noah and what a beautiful experience that was. Nathan beaks down for us what it takes for an aspiring musician to develop a career similar to his own, the preparation needed and the importance of having a true love of the music.
Armando Vega from Yamaha joins us to talk about Nathan’s Yamaha BBNE2 signature bass, and the eq circuit that makes it unique. Nathan talks about how it’s development came about and using it on his solo album. Armando discusses what goes into the construction of a handcrafted neck-through bass, intonation, string separation, bridge construction – everything that goes into creating a high standard instrument and translates into ultimate playability and tone.
Armando talks more about Nathan’s signature bass, the direction of the product line and the possibility of a less pricey version in the future. Nathan and Armando discuss how an artist and a manufacturer ineract to create a signature line, hammering out details like string length and spacing, neck construction and type of woods used. The craftsmanship involved and the respect and admiration that Nathan East commands among the bassit community, all contribute to the wild popularity of the BBNE2.