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The Working Musician.com

"Bass for Hire"

Ivan "FunkBoy" Bodley Interview

by Roger Zee

With The Uptown Horns“These guys are funky as 19 feet of chit’lings with onions and gravy on the side.  Now that’s funky!”

                                                                                                                                                        –Rufus Thomas

 

Review from the Right: Elvis Costello, Sting Get Soulful With Sam Moore, Creative Coalition’s Obama Inaugural Ball.  

“What I didn't know: that Costello and Moore would duet for the first time in 25 years on Moore's Sam & Dave hit, ‘I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down.’ They did the early, slow version, and segued into the Costello rave up. It was brilliant, and breathtaking.  Then Sting joined Moore for ‘None of Us Are Free,’ with the song's writer Brenda Russell on background vocals. They did this duet on Moore's ‘Overnight Sensational’ album in 2006. The two singers then turned in an R&B energized gospel version of ‘Every Breath You Take’ featuring Moore's band with Ivan Bodley and members of the Uptown Horns. I can only hope it turns up on YouTube soon. There were many standing ovations all night, especially when Moore, Sting, and Costello joined forces on "Soul Man" and a tribute to Billy Preston, ‘You Are So Beautiful.’"                                                                                                –Roger Friedman, Fox News.com

 

Review from the Left: Frozen, Hungover & Happy in DC “Our ball, thrown by The Creative Coalition, wasn't attended by the Obamas, because it wasn't official. Nor, it turns out, was it a ball. It was a concert, featuring, we were told, Elvis Costello and Sting. But the real star of the evening was Sam Moore (of the great Soul duo Sam & Dave), and his band. Seventy-three years old, wearing a velvet smoking jacket and two-tone shades, Sam wandered around the stage in a manner reminiscent of John McCain during the disastrous 'Town Hall' debate. But unlike McCain, Sam Moore can bring the most divided crowd to its feet simply by intoning the first few words of, say, "When Something is Wrong With my Baby." Sting and Elvis had their moments, but ended up singing backup for the brilliant old Soul Man as middle-aged white guys in tuxedos danced like children in the aisles. No wonder the Dixiecrats worked so hard to deny black people access to power. A microphone, in the hands of someone who knows how to use it, can change everything.”                                                                                                                                                                     –Roderick Spencer, The Huffington Post

 

“Man, I haven’t heard nothing like that since Duck Dunn!  You’ve been my musical director. You’ve been my friend.  You’ve been my brother.  You’ve been all that stuff.  I love you and the band.”                    –­­Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer)

 

 

“It sounds great…Extremely funky....”                                                                                       –Stanley Clarke

 

“It has been my pleasure to have you on board.  Your talent and professionalism has been a wonderful and welcome addition to my show, to say nothing of your exuberant personality.  I look forward to years of super shows and adventures around the world together.”                                                                                                                                       –Gloria Gaynor

 

“Hey Ivan, you are awesome. Thanks for helping out and love the arrangement.”         -Nile Rodgers, Chic

 

“Smoking….”                                                                                      ­                                            –­­Peter Wolf (J. Geils Band)

 

“Great playing.”                                                                                   ­                                          –Lou Reed (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer)

 

“You are too funky.”                     –Chris Frantz & Tina Weymouth (Tom Tom Club/Talking Heads) (Rock and Roll Hall of Famers)

 

 “Ivan is one of the best bass players I’ve ever worked with.  He can play my music.  He has the right flavor.  And there’s nothing that I’ve ever given him that he couldn’t play, even when he’s heard it for the first time or just read it for the first time.  We groove.  He’s one of the best.  And I’ll always admire and cherish the time that we play together and hope it happens again soon.”

                                                                                                                                                   –Martha Reeves (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer)

 

“Ivan Bodley, that fabulous bass player, he’s fantastic.  I love him.  Anytime anyone needs a good bass player, I suggest that they call Ivan because he’s the best.”                                          –Shirley Alston Reeves, Original Lead Singer of the World-Famous Shirelles

                                                                                                                                                        (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer)

 

“Aside from his bass playing, which is flawless (most of the time), he has a terrific disposition.  Ivan is one of the most consummate musicians that I’ve ever played with.  He’s a good guy, and I really love him.”                            

                                                                           –Jay Siegel (original lead singer of The Tokens [“Lion Sleeps Tonight”] and Producer)

 

“Ivan is the baddest.  There’s nobody any better, bass player and conductor.  At 6’5” you can’t miss him.  There’s really no one better than I’d rather have Music Directing than Ivan Bodley.  Real easy going, easy to work with, nice guy.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                     –Dee Dee Kenniebrew, The Crystals

 

“The guy is a great bass player.  We’ve played all over the world together.  You can’t go wrong with this cat.  Ivan is also a great conductor.  And I rely on him heavily for that.  Ivan is also a really great acoustic bass player.  Not many people know that.  He’s going to be playing with me, and I with him, for a long time to come.  This is the kind of guy you want on bass.  You want him on stage with you.  This cat is aces all the way around in his presence on the bottom end.”                 –Crispin Cioe, Uptown Horns

 

“You are so good.  I truly enjoyed working with the [Uptown Horns] band.  All of you in addition to being very talented are nice guys.”                                                                                                                                                 –Jerry Ragovoy (legendary songwriter/producer)

 

“Very funky, funkboy!”                                                                                  ­                               –Nathan East
 

“How about that Ivan Bodley…seriously, folks…he’s the man!”                    ­                        –Will Lee

 

“I had a very good time!  The band was so funky it was insane!  Thanks for making me feel so welcome.” –Brenda Russell

 

“Ivan, it was great working with you. Great MD, great bass player with killer feel. Thanks for the great direction.” –Kenny Aronoff

 

“A man I would best describe as: ‘Ricky Minor – East.’  He’s one of the top bassist/Musical Directors in New York City….”

                                                                –Chris Jisi, Senior Contributing Editor, Bass Player Magazine, Bass on the Broadband.com

 

“You’re the best, a terrific band leader and bassist. I really hope to work with you again. I couldn’t have asked for more. You groove. Your new best friend,”                                                                                                                 –Merrilee Rush

 

With Sam Moore“How are you going to do better than that?  That was great!  What a great band!” –Don Imus


With The Uptown Horns and Howard Tate“The punctilious Uptown Horns Revue…were eager and forceful.”  

                                                                                                                                                        –New York Times (Jon Pareles)

 

"The Uptown Horns, tried-and-true R&B professionals….So when the songs built to crescendos, as so many did, with Mr. Howard Tate's voice breaking through them like a buoy bobbing up and down through waves, the music had a grand, heaving power."

                                                                                                                                                        –New York Times

 

"Howard Tate's voice is still in great shape, and he sang in a wiry drawl and punctuated phrases with birdlike falsetto trills over his band's frisky grooves and the surging roar of the Uptown Horns."                                  –Chicago Tribune

 

"Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) and his nine-piece band pulled out all the stops.  In front of a crowd of 8,000, they alternated between segments that were flashy, when the band took more attention, and emotionally moving, when Moore's voice was the star.  For several tunes, Moore's vocal contribution was mostly there for color and highlights while the heavy lifting was done by the band led by bassist and musical director Ivan Bodley.  His band, which has been with him only since April and still had songsheets in front of them to perform, backed him as if they had been playing with him much longer."        –Duluth News Tribune

 

With Alexander Markov’s “Rock Concerto:” “The show will remain unforgettable for the audience.  The combination of both rock and symphonic music fascinated the audience.  It was like a feast.”                                  –Hakimiyet Newspaper , Bursa, Turkey

 

“It was a fantastic night.  There was a standing ovation for Alexander Markov, Gregg Gerson and Ivan Bodley.  The harmony of the symphony orchestra and the rock group was fascinating.  The “Rock Concerto” was received with great interest due to it’s combination of genres.  One of the most interesting parts of the show was where Bodley played the darbuka (hand drum).”

                                                                                                                                                        –Hurriyet Newspaper, Bursa, Turkey

 

“It was an unforgettable night.  It was totally fantastic and fascinating.  Markov played his “Rock Concerto” with bass player Ivan Bodley and drummer Gregg Gerson, who have worked with world-famous stars.”      –Olay Newspaper, Bursa, Turkey

 

With Terri White: That complexity was sensitively accompanied by Bobby Peaco (piano) and Ivan Bodley (bass), who deftly shifted from Broadway to jazz to gospel to pop in sync with White’s diverse repertoire.            –Cabaret Scenes

 

With Terri White“She is well-supported by Ricky Ritzel on piano and Ivan Bodley on bass. The latter melds especially well with White when they do a bravura, piano-less ‘Route 66.’”                                                                     –Playbill.com

 

With Jazz/Funk Unit“Bassist/bandleader Ivan Bodley lives up to the description of his sound: bebop with bump.  He gives backbeat to modern standards.”                                                                                                                –Billboard

 

With Jazz/Funk Unit: “Bassist/producer Ivan Bodley gets to make syncopated groove music out of jazz standards.  It’s feisty and fun.”                                                                                                                                                         –Nelson George, Playboy

 

With Jazz/Funk Unit: Jazz Jackpot! Review: “Impassioned and equally intelligent, featuring Bodley’s buzz-like bass work.  Hats off to the Jazz/Funk Unit.”                                                                                                                      –CMJ

 

With Jazz/Funk Unit: “Four stars! Tight and swinging, delightfully different.”                  –The Music Paper

 

With Jazz/Funk Unit: Ivan Bodley, producer, arranger, and bassist….I’m happy to inform you the record is at least twice as interesting as the accompanying story.”                                                                                  –Jazziz

 

“Burning, man….”                                                                    –Rich Appleman, Bass Department Chairman, Berklee College of Music

 

With The Uptown Horns: “Too bad there was no room for dancing in the crowded house because there was an awful lot of energy flying around due in no small part to the solid rhythm section playing of Ivan Bodley (bass).  It was very clear that there wasn’t a single weak link in the chain.  This was an evening with the cream of the crop, and if you missed it—kick yourself a little.”                                                                                                                                                                                 –True Blues, NYC