Following on from a successful session career in the 90s that ranged from gospel touring and studio sessions to a European tour with Howard Jones, Steve Lawson’s move from sideman to solo artist at the turn of the millennium is one that has taken him all over the world, resulted in 10 acclaimed solo albums, a slot opening for Level 42 on their Greatest Hits tour, numerous collaborations—including multiple tours with Michael Manring—and accolades throughout the bass world and beyond.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of live looping, Lawson’s solo recording debut in 2000, “And Nothing But The Bass,” introduced a bold and distinct new voice to the world of solo bass. Press and peers alike celebrated his extraordinary sound palette and cinematic compositions, created with just basses and processing, all live.
The last decade has seen Steve become the first solo electric bassist to play London’s Royal Albert Hall, play numerous tours and festival appearances across Europe and the US, and in addition to his solo work, release a series of albums in a range of duo and trio settings: with pianist Jez Carr, saxophonist/flautist Theo Travis, his acclaimed improv trio Lawson/Dodds/Wood and a bass/voice duo with American singer Lobelia.
As founder of The Recycle Collective, Lawson has performed alongside many of the leading lights of the UK jazz and improvised music scene, including Leo Abrahams, Cleveland Watkiss, BJ Cole, Orphy Robinson and Seb Rochford, as well as legendary American violinist Todd Reynolds and Royal Opera mezzo-soprano Andrea Hazell.
Alongside his prolific performing and recording schedule, Steve is also an acclaimed music educator, setting up the Beyond Bass Camp master class series in the UK and giving clinics and master classes at universities and music schools throughout the UK and beyond.
His most recent solo release, “Believe In Peace,” was recorded in a Minneapolis art gallery in 2011 and released in January 2012. Michael Manring hailed it as “perhaps the best argument yet that the bass is a versatile, deeply expressive instrument; and in the hands of a brilliant and visionary artist like Steve, is capable of making music of enormous emotional and musical depth.”
Of his new Markbass Combo 121 Lites (he runs stereo), Steve says: “For the last few years, I haven’t owned a bass amp, having been unable to find something that combined the bass-friendly qualities I needed with the clarity of a PA. That all changed when I first heard the Combo 121 Lites—the clarity, power and intuitive tone-shaping add up to them being the finest bass amps I’ve ever played through. That I can get all of that tone and volume in such a compact lightweight package is nothing short of astonishing!”