Grammy-winning bassist Rob Wasserman, whose wide-ranging resumé included work with Brian Wilson, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Lou Reed, Rickie Lee Jones and many others, died in Los Angeles on Wednesday (29) of unspecified causes, at the age of 64.
The native Californian, whose first instrument was the violin, studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He worked with Morrison early in his career and first recorded in his own name on the 1983 album Solo. He followed this with 1988’s Duets, for which the track ‘Brothers,’ with Bobby McFerrin, won a Grammy for Best Male Jazz Vocal Performance; the album also featured collaborations with Reed, Jones, Stéphane Grappelli, Aaron Neville and others.
The 1994 set Trios, a collection of three-artist performances, was another star-laden affair, with contributions from such notables as Brian Wilson and his daughter Carnie, Costello & Marc Ribot, Willie Dixon & Al Duncan, Edie Brickell & Jerry Garcia and Bruce Hornsby & Branford Marsalis.
In more recent years, Wasserman oversaw the 2011 Woody Guthrie tribute album Note Of Hope, which included appearances by Reed, Jackson Browne, Pete Seeger, Madeleine Peyroux, Van Dyke Parks, Tom Morello et al.
Responding to the news of his death, Morello posted a clip of them playing together and described him as a “great bass player and musical spirit.” Michael Franti, who also worked with Wasserman on Note Of Hope, tweeted: I am saddened this morning to learn of the passing of bassist Rob Wasserman. I was blessed to record with him. Love to his fam[ily] and fans.”
Listen to the Duets album on Spotify