about - Marco Abbatecola


This is not just a resume of my career and the usual list of  what and where about me; I would like to tell you who inspired me and what makes bass playing my passion.

I was born in Italy near Rome, lived in Florence, Milan for a short period and then moved to London permanently till now. In fact, my first music class was at school of music in Rome, called ST. Louise where I met Gianfranco Gullotto, my first teacher, who wrote the manual of the electric bass, a small bass guitar bible. That was the time when I realized how important it was, and still is, to put time and energy into studying music, theory and into practicing in a disciplined way to gain a proper sense of achievement.
Even though I was in different bands playing the odd gig – only the study and practice combined with the live performances taught me the professionalism I was aiming to achieve.

When Gianfranco told me to listen to bass players like Stanley Clarke, Mitroslov Vitous, Alphonso Johnson, Jaco Pastorious, Paul Jackson, my view towards bass playing changed completely as a new world opened up to me. I fell totally in love with that new state of consciousness which allowed me to progress and pursue this career with joy and fulfillment.
I suggest to any young bass player or musician from any music background to listen to those I just mentioned.

Back in those days I played the Album “Black Market” of Weather Report, non stop all day for 365 days. I started listening to all different styles of music, so why not mention Bunny Brunnel, Jeff Berlin, Will Lee, Jimmy Haslip, Nathan East, Danny Wilson, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller and one of the session players most wanted, Abraham Laboriel.

Before I moved to England, I was going from band to band or doing some session work here and there, when I met Marco Rossetti, a very talented guitarist working for the Italian National TV channel RAI1 orchestra. He loved my playing and we became friends and soon music partners of a project called Shout; he also introduced me to a higher level of professionalism where I could, finally, put into work all I had learnt so far.

The experience of working with such a large group of musicians taught me that you cannot afford to make mistakes or do re-takes, as far as reading is concerned. This applies in any session work, believe me! I was also not giving as much attention as I should to the equipment I was using, another important lesson I learnt when entering the world of “session work”. Considering, for example, how to get the right sound in different contexts or styles of music or what effects are available, what pick ups are more versatile and more important, what bass guitars…

I obviously went to countless numbers of shops to play every bass guitar and amp I could. I even built my own bass at the Douglas factory in Rome, I still have it, a fantastic 4 string active long scale with 2 emg pick ups.

One day, in a little recording studio called M3, I came acrosss the American Fender Jazz 1978 … well, that was the day I understood that this model is a true miracle! I felt its immediate attraction and couldn’t stop playing it.

The equipment I am using are SWR and Hartke Amps athough I would prefer the SVTII Ampeg as it is one of the best but the heaviest to carry around. Markbass and Eden amps are also my prefered one. As speakers I used 4×10 Hartke or Eden.

In 1986 I came to the UK for the first time but didn’t feel like staying, as I had too many projects on the go back home. It was 1992 when I moved to UK and stayed to play the field. I have probably attended every single jam in London where I met many talented musicians whose musicianship was of a very high standard.

I toured Europe with Steve Zee and Mick Marino, one of the best drummers I met during my music career (I think he is now teaching at the drumtech in London) – Marcus Malone, Walter wolf Washington, Sherie Williams, Chiko Bangs, Tony Coleman (BBKing), Ola Onabule’, I am also the founder and band leader of Soul Funk Secret where musicians like Jules Pais, Miggy Barradas, James B Coleman are part of.  I ran a jam in Finsbury Park, London, for a few years with Nick Fusco, another talented guitarist now retired.

I attended music colleges and Goldsmiths Uni here in the UK and my knowledge of music was expanding rapidly. I won’t mention all the groups and artists I’ve worked with since then, as I would probably bore you…
A new world opened up to me again, when I explored the American Latin and Brazilian culture and music. Kiko Cowan was the first who invited me to play salsa in his band and boy, that was a challenge! I thought, I could just grab my bass and play it, and to some extent I could, but salsa is a different language (clave), it has to be learnt before you can start speaking it. I decided to visit Cuba and learn as much as I could. Back in England, I played for Yes Brazil, Fred Martins from Rio De Janeiro, and Tropicalia, in my experience the top Latin Brazilian act in the UK, and more.

Apart from playing – I have also taught and run workshops for students in year 7/8 and a few for adults.