The Bassist as Composer

When a bassist is also a bandleader, the results can be a mixed bag. Overzealous solos, too many overdubs, too much bass in general: it’s a fine line between virtuosity and laying it on too thick. Michael Janisch, an American bassist/composer based in London, is aware of the clichés in his lane—and he’s committed to swerving around them.

“Playing with people, [bass players] might get one solo,” he says. “But when it comes to their album, there are five multi-layered basses on

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