“… There’s somebody on bass who many people have heard about, but they’ve never actually seen him – Klaus Voormann.”
For those of us who grew up in the first post-Beatles generation, George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh introduction of his dear friend, former Manfred Mann member, and acclaimed graphic artist who designed album covers for the Beatles’ Revolver and Anthology series, and the Bee Gees, among others – was a welcome revelation. Klaus’s body of work on the Beatles’ extensive solo cannon was an exhilarating exercise in prodigious musical diversity.
To cherry pick a few examples: Klaus (and Ringo) played primal on John and Yoko’s incendiary Plastic Ono Band albums; soulful and mellifluous with George on the orchestral All Things Must Pass and stripped-down Living In the Material World records; and in-the-pocket for Mr. Starkey on his string of pop hits from Ringo and Goodnight Vienna. Klaus’ intro for Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” is among the most recognizable bass lines in the history of pop music. Modest, unpretentious, and most down to earth, Mr. Voormann does what bass players are called to do: serve the music!
And that’s why Klaus Voormann was a first- call studio bassist for Messrs. Lennon, Harrison, Star; B.B. King, Donovan, Harry Nilsson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lou Reed, Randy Newman, Dion, Maria Muldaur, Van Dyke Parks, Carly Simon, and Peter Frampton, to cite a select few. Klaus’ lone, fabulous solo album, aptly entitled A Sideman’s Journey, features Voormann’s famous friends paying musical homage to this great musician and artist, including Sir Paul McCartney and Dr. John.