As I mentioned in previous blogs about Dia De Los Muertos, I look forward to this celebration more than other holidays. The older I get, I feel the best way to celebrate life is to celebrate death without fear; with the same celebratory spirit one would have for a birth or an anniversary. The ritual of Dia De Los Muertos, the ofrenda
(altar) the food and drink, and having the time to reflect those who have passed on are all-important components of this celebration. This is the day we party with the dead as we would with the living, some we knew intimately and others we admire and wish we knew better.
Besides celebrating family and friends that have passed on, I like to include musicians and artists who have inspired me in some way. This year, many great musicians have passed. Consider this a digital ofrenda to them. I hope these musicians have inspired you as much as they have I.
The Bass Players
Two amazing bass players passed this year. Bob Babbitt was a member of the infamous Funk Brothers, the backing group of musicians that played on many of the best Motown
recordings of the 60’s and 70’s. Donald “Duck” Dunn did the same damage for Stax Records
as a member of Booker T And The MG's
, playing behind many of the greats on the Stax Records roster. You may not know their names but I bet you can hum their bass lines by heart.
Babbitt played bass on such Motown classics as "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder
, "War" by Edwin Starr
, "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
, "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye
, "Band Of Gold" by Freda Payne
, "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", and "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" by The Temptations.