#1-Session musicians, the Wrecking Crew, The Wall of Sound. Bass-Carol Kaye, and drums-Hal Blaine.
What makes a top rhythmic duo? Each person is entitled to their own idea, or musical measure. For my number one position I was looking for a duo that:
a) Felt at home in any given genre.
b) Could improvise in an instant.
c) Could do their job in all possible difficult circumstances.
d) Do all the above in one session, and still create a beat that makes hits!
These attributes were found in the Wrecking Crew, who were an ad hoc group of about 30 highly skilled Hollywood studio musicians who played the instruments on thousands of hit records released between 1961 and 1976. The Wrecking Crew's members typically had backgrounds in jazz or classical music, but were highly versatile. The talents of this group of 'first call' players were used on almost every style of recording, including television theme songs, film scores, advertising jingles and almost every genre of American popular music. To quote Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine:"When the demand for rock exploded at the very start of the '60s, record companies had to churn out tons of music with a big beat and a tight sound. To hold down studio costs, producers had no choice but to bring in musicians who could nail songs the first time through. That meant us, We called it R&R, Reliability and Responsibility. We didn’t spend time rehearsing take after take, we just read the chart, played the tune and made gold records.” It was this attitude which made the Wrecking crew popular with top producers, such as Quincy Jones and Philip Spector.
Carol Kaye and Hal Blaine, worked on several thousand cuts together, follow this link. Carole has over 10000 sessions to her name, making her one of the most recorded bassist, male or female in the world.
Both the musicians are now in their eighties. Asked how he feels about music today, Hal Blaine answered “I mostly listen to an oldies station on XM radio. It's an amazing ego trip since I'm on so many of the songs. But it has its drawbacks. You hear your youth. I hear a day at the office or a divorce."