African Vibes: Gros Ngolle Pokossi

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Kamerun - dieses Land in Zentralafrika hat der Welt viele herausragende Bassisten beschert.  Neben den in der Musikszene bekannten Namen wie Richard Bona, Etienne M'Bappe und Armand Sabal-Lecco gibt es viele kamerunische Bassisten, die man auf dem Zettel haben sollte.  Gros Ngolle Pokossi...

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Bass Quarterly written by Phil Donkin

A Talk With Gros Pokossi NGOLLE

Flashmag this month will meet a globetrotter of music that played on all continents.  Born in Cameroon, at 14 he will be initiated to the bass guitar.  Later he will play alongside renowned artists of the Cameroonian scene such as Ndedi Eyango, Moustick Ambassa, Jean Dikoto MANDENGUE, Vicky Edimo, Alhaji Toure or Roger Saba Lecco to mention only those.  In 1986, he traveled to France to polish his mastery of the art of music and then crossed to Germany, where he will spend 25 years playing music both in the studio and accompanying artists on stage.  He went on tour around the world with the Decoding Society of Roland Shannon Jackson, James Carter, and Jef Lee Johnson.  Later, he will also tour with the Indian jazzist Trilok Gurtu with whom... Link to the full article in English  -  Lien vers l'article complet en francais 

Flashmag! written by Hubert Marlin Elingui Jr

Interview with Bassist Gros Ngolle Pokossi

There are places that produce a bumper crop of some of the world’s most notable musicians.  In the bass world, places like Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Virginia, etc. are virtually known as bass player factories. For example, Willie Dixon, Verdine White, Ethan Farmer, Chuck Webb, Bill Dickens, etc., all hail from Chicago. Nate Watts, Ralphe Armstrong, Al Turner, James Jamerson, etc., are from Detroit. Stanley Clarke, Anthony Jackson, Gerald Veasley, Christian McBride, Victor Bailey, etc., developed in Philadelphia. Victor Wooten, James Genus, etc. are from the Virginia area.   To these places, we should also add the African country of Cameroon.

Cameroon has given us bass greats like Etienne Mbappe, Armand Sabal-Lecco, Richard Bona, and many more.  To this illustrious list, you can now add bassist Gros Ngolle Pokossi...Link to the full article

Bass Musician Magazine written by Vuyani Wakaba

Cameroonian International Bassist Exposition 

 Cameroonian Bassists honored in the exposition (top left to right): Vicky Edimo, Richard Bona,  Jean Dikoto   Mandengue, Guy Nsangue, Andre Manga,  Francis Mbappe, Hilaire Penda, Richard Epesse, Gros Ngolle Pokossi, and Stephane Manga "Kool Bass"

Cameroonian Bassists honored in the exposition (top left to right): Vicky Edimo, Richard Bona, Jean Dikoto Mandengue, Guy Nsangue, Andre Manga, Francis Mbappe, Hilaire Penda, Richard Epesse, Gros Ngolle Pokossi, and Stephane Manga "Kool Bass"

For the first time, four generations of Cameroonian bassists came together from different corners of the planet to be honored.  Photo Exhibition by famous Parisian photographer, Alain Herman.  Innov'Tempo

Off the Tracks Article About Gros Ngolle Pokossi

Gros Ngolle Pokossi is a Cameroonian bass player. African bassists are pretty special. All that weaving around complex polyrhythms keeps you on your toes, I guess. And bass is huge in Cameroon (finally, a country with its priorities right!). It produces more bass players per capita than anywhere else, all of them awesome, so it seems, and Pokossi is no exception. He has that relaxed demeanour from being completely at one with your instrument, and as well as sporting the necessary funk/soul/Afrobeat/jazz/rock/R & B chops, he has a few other cool things up his sleeve, like palm-muted thumb and finger picking. But the important question for any bass player is always (in my world, anyway): can you play reggae? Not only, in Pokossi’s case, can he play reggae (and never underestimate how many so-called top bassists get it so, so wrong), he understands how much of your tone comes not from your choice of gear, or a massive array of effects, but your hands. Play over the neck joint for that fat, enveloping, Family Man tone, move back a bit towards the bridge to add some mids for the Robbie Shakespeare kick-you-in-the-chest punch. Plus that muted finger picking thing to soften it right up. And always, he serves the song, with no unnecessary flashiness. Despite Pokossi being a terrific slap player, you won’t hear any slap on a Nneka record or at her shows. Just big bottom. I love it.
— Off the Tracks (New Zealand) by guest contributer Jeff Ussher