LARRY BARTLEY now enjoys a big reputation on the British jazz scene, and he appears in many different bands. Some bassists are more spectacular or obviously technical, but Larry does what's most important to an ensemble – keeps the beat steady, and provides a soft but secure harmonic 'cushion' for the soloists.
He likes using gut strings rather than metal ones, even though metal strings make a louder noise with less effort and are capable of cutting through the sound of a band. His original reason was admiration for Charles Mingus, one of the great jazz bass-players of all time, who used gut strings and made a massive sound with them. Nowadays, Larry finds that gut or metal strings can make the bass a completely different instrument.