Prolific bassist hopes for first Grammy win - WSMV Channel 4

Prolific bassist hopes for first Grammy win

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Nathan East with Willie Nelson (Source: NathanEast.com) Nathan East with Willie Nelson (Source: NathanEast.com)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A first-time Grammy nominee has played with some of music's all-time greats. So why is Nathan East just releasing his first solo record?

When it comes to music, East is all about that bass.

"Musically, there's something that resonates in every human being," East said. "I just keep my ears open and listen."

He started in an ordinary way, playing cello in junior high. But his life changed when someone brought a bass to his church.

East's whole family loved music, but fate dealt all the aces to East.

"You don't know at the time when you love something and are very passionate about it, it doesn't seem like work," he said.

He's put in plenty of work and millions of miles. Until recently, no one put together the story of one of the greatest recorded bass players of all time.

Filmmaker and music producer Chris Gero spent two years making East's first solo record and filming a documentary every step of the way.

"My job was to wrangle it all up and take the best out of it and get to the finish line," Gero said.

The documentary features stories about riffs that became hits from the artists East recorded with.

"We came up with the 'da da dum dam,'" Phil Collins said. "Nathan worked on what exactly that riff was going to be. And basically the lyrics wrote themselves. 'Easy lover, he'll get a hold of you, believe it.'"

East's high praise comes from the biggest names.

"I was watching the other bands play and I was watching Kenny Loggins and it was like, whoa, he was a third of the band's sound," Eric Clapton said.

"Almost every record I ever recorded, I had to have Nathan East on the record," Lionel Richie said.

The film also features some singular studio moments, including a song East recorded with Sara Bareilles in Nashville they nailed on the first take.

"I wake up every morning, pinching myself and grateful," East said. "I keep a gratitude journal and there's too many things to write in there."

Fans and fellow artists hope the next line in this story is a Grammy win, something that has eluded East for more than 40 years.

"The playing field is so strong," East said. "Everybody has Super Bowl chops, but there's only five chances to get in there."

East's record is simply titled Nathan East. It is available on Amazon and iTunes.

His documentary, For the Record, premiered on Hulu late last year. It is the most watch music film behind The Beatles.

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