“I'm a completely different bass player now… When I was in Jeff Beck's band, I hadn't even been playing for four years!” Tal Wilkenfeld on her evolution from bass phenomenon to solo artist

Musician Tal Wilkenfeld plays on stage at the Build Series to promote her forthcoming album 'Love Remains' at Build Studio on March 06, 2019 in New York City.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tal Wilkenfeld's 2007 debut album was titled Transformation, and although it was an instrumental record made with a handful of New York City's top jazz musicians, the connotation seemed clear. After all, here was a bassist who moved from her native Bondi Beach, Australia to Los Angeles at 16 to pursue a career playing music, and within a handful of years she had become a YouTube-aided global sensation.

The flashpoint? A viral clip of her bass solo on 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers, as a member of Jeff Beck's quartet at Eric Clapton's Crossroad Festival in 2007. Fast forward, and the album title seems to have revealed its true meaning. 

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Chris Jisi was Contributing Editor, Senior Contributing Editor, and Editor In Chief on Bass Player 1989-2018. He is the author of Brave New Bass, a compilation of interviews with bass players like Marcus Miller, Flea, Will Lee, Tony Levin, Jeff Berlin, Les Claypool and more, and The Fretless Bass, with insight from over 25 masters including Tony Levin, Marcus Miller, Gary Willis, Richard Bona, Jimmy Haslip, and Percy Jones.