Mike has been playing the Electric Bass since 1959. His musical proficiency and theory are a product of private lessons. He studied under Charles Orsini, a well-known and respected guitar and upright bassist in Schenectady, NY. Mike began performing professionally in local rock bands in 1967. Mike was accepted at Berklee School of Music in 1968. Living in Boston and attending Berklee had a profound influence on his playing. His Major was Instrumental Performance (Degree Program). He expanded his style into Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Classical, and Contemporary music. Preferring to perform to a live audience, his talent for incorporating many different style rhythm motifs and variations into a tune accentuates his fluid and smooth style.
He studied under, and performed occasional concerts and live engagements with many widely known teacher/players who, at that time were considered to be the “locals” in Boston: Howard (Andy) McGhee[harmony teacher], Lennie Johnson[melody & improv], Len Perrin[private instrument], Mick Goodrick[private instrument], Art Alonzo[piano],
While at school, other influences include: John LaPorta[co-ordinator for all lecture classes], Hal Grossman[composition], Phil Woods[theory & arranging], Alan Dawson[percussive & rhythm studies], Alan Buda[percussive & rhythm studies], Major Holey[private instrument], Tony Taxiera[jingle writing], and Steve Swallow[private instrument].
Other occasional performances while in Boston include: Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, Thelonius Monk, Arthur Prysock, Lucas Foss, John Cage, Mike Gibbs, Art Gore, Earl Grant, Erroll Garner, Bill Hall, Frank DeGesare, Dave Kuhl and many others. Some of these performances took place at: The Unicorn, New England Life Hall, Berklee Concert Theater(main floor). Paul’s Mall, The Jazz Workshop, Penelope’s, Katie’s, Sumner’s 400 Club and many other poular locations and venues in an around the City of Boston.
Mike has also played with a wide array of top-notch local performers (Capital District, NYS):
Rory Block, Jon Norman & Paula Sydney, Lou Alonzo, Art Alonzo, Brian Prout, Dick Spass, Randy Loren, Ron Mayfield, Jay(Duffy) Whitcomb, Al Quaglieri Jr., Bobby Kaspur, Chris Dulles, Mike McMann, Rob Cohen, Drew Costa, Jeff Prescott, Mike McMann and many others.
Local band (Capital District, NYS) credits include:
Emergency, Cathedral, Foxfire, Dick Spass and Company, The Rocco Brothers, Click, PizAzz, RD-5, Mike McMann Band, Crossfire-CFX, Vortex Jazz and The Nucleus Jazz Ensemble, 2096, Best Bet, The Mike Palma Trio, Sha’ron Edwards, Fantastic Machine and others.
Boston: Studio One Recording (SONY) Gordon Hathcock(engineer) commercials and demos.
Wrote and Arranged “Boston After Dark”, “Hangover”, “The Pru, the City, and You” National Shawmut Bank Jingles (1970 – 71)
Woodstock: Bearsville Studios. Rory Block, Sir Roland Hanna.
Memphis: SONY studios: Many jingles, Chrysler Jeep Commercials, individual demos
New Orleans: Hathcock Recording and Mastering Facilities. Commercials and Demos.
Main Instrumental influences:
Charles Mingus, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Rocco Prestia, Steve Swallow, James Jamerson, Chris Squire, Willie Weeks, Victor Wooten, Jeff Berlin, Phil Lesh, Eddie Gomez, Glenn Letsch
Charles Mingus, Stanley Clarke, Phil Lesh, Jaco Pastorius, Chris Squire