Phil Chen

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Though Phil Chen missed the opportunity to assume Ronnie Lane’s position with The Faces in 1973, the Kingston Jamaica born UK session ace forged a brilliant career as a sideman on stage and in the recording studio. He toiled commendably in the workman-like Butts Band with ex-Doors Robbie Kreiger and John Densmore from ’73 to ’74.

A Fender Precision devotee, Chen was greatly inspired by the music of Motown – as evidenced by his soulful passages within a mostly rock context. As such, Phil was the perfect choice to anchor Jeff Beck’s historic Blow By Blow (1975) album. When Rod the Mod opted for Hollywood, Phil and drummer Carmine Appice made the most of Stewart’s pop inclinations, blending rock, funk, disco, and blues on several chart topping sides. And I must cite Chen’s signature funky bass break on Rod's “Hot Legs” - short, simple, and sweet!  

Chen’s impressive resume also includes outstanding work with Brian May’s Star Fleet Project, Jackson Browne, Pete Townshend, John Lee Hooker, Dave Edmunds, and Joan Armatrading, among, many, many others.

Phil Chen’s home country honored the bassist in 2014 with the Order of Distinction for his musical accomplishments.

Thomas SemioliComment