Rare is the bass player whose lines and presence are so absolutely definitive – that to hear the song or the artist without them is inconceivable. Witness Graham Maby of the Joe Jackson Band who is among Britain’s most eminent bass players who achieved lasting prominence during the groundbreaking U.K. punk / new wave era – a most distinguished class which includes Bruce Foxton (The Jam), Andrew Bodnar (Graham Parker & The Rumour), Norman Watt-Roy (Ian Dury & The Blockheads), Bruce Thomas (Elvis Costello & the Attractions), and Harry Kakoulli / John Bentley (Squeeze).
Maby is a master of plying bass motifs that are instantly recognizable. Noted for his aggressive plectrum attack, and sharp tone which he coaxes out of several instruments ranging from Fender, Rickenbacker, Steinberger …I’ve lost count over the years – Maby is testimony to the verity that rhythm, melody, and knowledge of a myriad of musical genres are far more valuable and enduring than dexterity – and image.
Most fans are familiar with Maby’s stellar work on Jackson’s hit albums Look Sharp (1979), I’m the Man (1979), Night and Day (1982) – however my favorite Maby moments are found on the swinging Jumpin’ Jive (1981) and Body and Soul (1984) collections wherein Graham brings his versatile jazz, soul, funk and show tune talents to the forefront. Graham has also greatly enhanced the work of several other notable recording artists, including Graham Parker, Ian Hunter, Freedy Johnston, Natalie Merchant, and Marshall Crenshaw among others.