rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 11/24/2003
Spotlight on Bass - Al Tarana
by Lisa Palmeno
Al Tarana is a virtual renaissance man of the bass. He has gigged with at least 30, possibly more than 40 bands, with experience encompassing a myriad of genres. From his first band Blakely Freight (bluesy rock)to his most recent work with Backstreet Crawlers and Tutuma, an experiment in Latin jazz, reggae and African styles, the Sicilian-born, Rockford-raised performer's credits exemplify a commitment to cultural and musical diversity.

Tarana began playing guitar at age 11. Like many bassists, he switched instruments when the band he was with needed someone to hold down the line. Blakely Freight (Tarana, drummer Tom Fishe, vocalist Kelly Aronica, and guitarist Gary Matthews) focused on originals and covers of popular groups with heavy bass lines such as Allman Brothers, Derek and the Dominos, and Johnny Winters. Just a few of the other bands he has been in are Circles, Dazzle, and Mystery, and a country house band he played in at the Broadway Tap for two years.

He has toured coast to coast and everywhere in between, mainly with a Pittsburgh-based band, Charles Williams and Life. Switching gears a bit, but still expanding on his country music repertoire, he worked on NAT's tribute to Patsy Cline last year. Always versatile and ready to play, he was hired by a local band in Mexico for a couple of shows while vacationing in the area. Bo Diddley hired him for a show, and he has also worked with A.C. Reed and Bowser and the Sting Rays(from Sha Na Na) in a '50s nostalgia show.

Although Mr. Al has worked with so many entertainers, most of us know him best for his work with Dan Voll's Combo Loco. Tarana has recorded on two of Voll's CDs, first on Loosen That Tie, and on Voll's third CD and most recent release Escandaloso! A contributor on numerous CDs for various artists, Al says he's concentrating on original material of his own.

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Hendrix were his early influences, with Jaco Pastorius, Rocko Prestia (Tower of Power), and Motown artists James Jamerson and Jerry Jemmont standing out as some of his favorite bassists over the years.

When it comes to describing his approach, Tarana says he "likes to be real articulate, precise, clean," and that he "enjoys a lot of funk, R&B, and blues, but also likes the Latin stuff as well as being a big jazz buff."`

Tarana plays upright bass and 4- and 5-string electric. His bass of choice is a 5-string Pedulla Thunder Bass.
Post a Comment  |  (0) Comments
More Beet Stew Features
Weddings Should be Memorable, Not Expensive
Scooter the Planet! How riding a scooter makes $ense and reduces your carbon-footprint.
RCCA's Final Concert This Season: Angele Dubeau & La Pieta
Kortman Gallery at 22 - David Menard and Molly Carter Exhibit Mixed Media Works
Genesis in Dekalb? No, but Grand Parade is The Next Best Thing
10th Annual RAMI Benefit Rocks the Tebala This Saturday
Artist/Galleries Feature Directory
Attraction Feature Directory
Beet Lit Feature Directory
Beet Press Feature Directory
Beet Stew Feature Directory
CD Reviews Directory
Dining/Clubs Feature Directory
Kids/Family Feature Directory
Music Feature Directory
On the Beet Podcast Directory
Specialty Shops Feature Directory
Sunday Blues Podcast Directory

Rockford Area Arts Council

Rockford Area Music Industry

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center
Wolfgang's Vault - Rare Police Memorabilia