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Background Information

Employment History

Part of the United We Funk All-Stars Project

Gap Band

Part of the United We Funk All-Stars Project


Part of the United We Funk All-Stars Project

Con Funk Shun

Web References

Bass Player - Acoustic and electric bass guitar tabs, chords and lessons - Slick & Sick

www.bassplayer.com [cached]

Nate Phillips

Nate Phillips On Pleasure's ‘Glide'
"We were sort of isolated up there," says bassist Nate Phillips, "so we just did our own thing."The group's fusion-influenced dance music reached its peak with "Glide," the Top Ten R&B single from the album Future Now [Fantasy, 1979].The tune sports some of the finest bass work of the era, as Nate drives the track with his formidable slap-and-pop technique.It's the kind of dense, booty-shaking line every would-be funkateer wishes they had written.
Phillips grew up working the berry and bean fields outside Portland, where AM pop radio was his escape from the bugs, dirt, cold, and hunger."My brother and I would play R&B records," he says, "and we'd turn them up so loud they would engulf me, man!"By the time Nate was old enough to sneak into clubs, he had started playing around town."We were doing songs by Kool & the Gang, the Ohio Players, and Dyke & the Blazers, but we were also influenced by jazz and early fusion, like Herbie Hancock's Fat Albert Rotunda, Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, and stuff on producer Creed Taylor's CTI label."
Nate spawned the lick that became "Glide" on a visit to his mother's house in Portland.
Things start to heat up after the ghost-note pickup to bar 3, where Nate follows up his hip-dipping hammer-on with a slide into G and a sturdy syncopated figure.On various repeats of this intro line, Nate fills out his line with muted ghost-notes."I throw those little ghost-notes in there to keep the line moving," he says.Nate rests for most of bar 4, leaving room for Marlon "the Magician" McClain's snaky guitar licks until his authoritative pop on D. (Note: There are a few different edits of "Glide," including the full 6:31 album track and a 4:24 radio edit.The second ending at bar 12 can only be heard on the full version.)
On the held F in the intro's third ending, take a deep breath-here comes the good part!What follows is a tight little four-bar phrase that has just about every trick in a funk bassist's tool kit-double-stops, slides, hammer-ons, double-thumbing, triplets-you name it!Nate gets a jump on the verse groove by anticipating the one on the pickup to bar 23, where he first plucks the double-stopped 10ths with his thumb and index finger.The upbeat chromatic slide into the C#m double-stop in bar 24 sets up that bar's downbeats so they have maximum impact.In bar 25, Nate's bass line becomes hyperkinetic, as he uses a double-stop slide to connect two impossibly funky licks.Be sure to drill this passage at moderate tempos before taking it on at full speed-the beginning of this line is pretty sparse, but it really picks up.Note that in bars 26 and 30, Nate pops-rather than slaps-the downbeats of two, three, and four.
Future Now
Though Pleasure disbanded back in 1981, Nate has continued to play actively, producing and playing in the Dazz Band through the '90s.In 2000 and 2001 he played alongside members of the SOS Band, Con Funk Shun, the Gap Band, and the Bar-Kays as part of the United We Funk All-Stars project.Most recently, Phillips has kept busy slinging his Bossa 5-string with smooth jazz saxophonist Richard Elliot and trumpeter Rick Braun, and he's currently writing and arranging material for a solo record.Nate continues to find inspiration in exciting jazz and fusion players who can "go crazy," but he feels deeply connected to his R&B roots."When I hear Motown records I just have to smile, because that's the stuff.That's me. Forget soloing-there ain't no messing around holding it down!"No doubt, Nate.
Tone Zone
"Everybody asks how I got that tone," says Nate.

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