Bass player for Pharoah Sanders and Steve Harley
I have played on over 60 albums with jazz artists, singer-songwriters and world music artists as well as film soundtracks and music for tv. Whilst I am mainly a jazz player I have worked with many singer-songwriters and folk artists such as Steve Harley, Lau, Cara Dillon, Polly Paulusma, Martin Simpson and Rosabella Gregory. I also play with the bow. I recently played in the string section for Dionne Warwick at the Royal Albert Hall. Recent tours include Sheridan Smith, Steve Hackett's orchestral project, Alison Balsom and Collabro.
I studied jazz at the Royal Academy of Music under the legendary Jeff Clyne, graduating in 2000. I've been working since then in various bands. I have played in Pharoah Sanders' quartet for all his concerts in Europe since 2012. At the start of the Covid lockdowns in the UK I was supposed to be on tour playing orchestral bass with the Who and then on about a hundred gigs with Steve Harley's acoustic band. Hopefully these things will happen in 2021 but in the meantime I have time for lots of home recording.
I record from home using a DPA and a ribbon microphone into Logic via an Apogee Duet interface. I will send you both tracks so you can blend them to get the bass sound you want.
I also play bass guitar and have an old precision that records really well.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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14 Reviews - 2 Repeat ClientsEndorse Oli Hayhurst
Oli was very professional, communicative and gave the song exactly what it needed first time! I will definitely be back.
Oli is a true professional. He is a great player and provided me not only with a fantastic performance for my Jazz track but also with an excellent recording of that performance. He exceeded my expectations and went above and beyond with what I needed and had a fast turnaround. I can only recommend him.
Oli was a fantastic help on our song and delivered the tracks with a very quick turnaround time. Highly recommended.
Oli is a great player with good taste. He also deals very well with direction from slightly vague and confused musicians... His stems are always beautifully recorded. Highly recommend.
Oli is a true professional and very easy to work with. The upright bass track exceeded my expectations and I would definitely work with him again. Highly recommended!
Very quick turn around and a super pro! Loved the work!
Amazing musician, he sent me different options of my parts, really happy, it sounds really good.
Talented, quick, easy to communicate with, great chops. What more do you need?
Another awesome performance and kind service. Thank you!
Oli is an excellent bass player, and is committed to working with you to get the perfect recording. It was pleasure working with him!
Excellent performance! We are very happy with your professional and artistic play for our song. Thank you very much!
Always a pleasure to work with Oli.
Excellent player who proved a really tasteful part. Also a top quality recording and a lovely human.
Having Oli play on my tracks was fantastic - the musicality his bass playing brought to my tracks is just spot on and his upright bass tone sits beautifully in the mix. I highly recommend Oli and I'm looking forward to working with him again in the future!
Interview with Oli Hayhurst
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Steve Harley's Uncovered album. We recorded in 2019 in Rockfield studios. All there for a week. I knew the drummer and the engineer before but had never met Steve or Martin Simpson. We had a lovely time, playing all day, experimenting with different feels for the tunes, Martin trying different instruments and tunings, Tom going between drums and percussion. All mixed in the end with no EQ on anything apparently.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Just slowly getting better...
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: If you are after other musicians I am sure I can make some recommendations
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Oh, I'm not an engineer. I like vinyl but digital is so convenient...
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Your music will sound better with me playing on it
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I just like to play but the process of going from first hearing a song to finishing recording it is really interesting. You learn so much along the way. Maybe your first idea was perfect or maybe you were hearing it all wrong and it takes time to change your way of thinking.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you play with the bow? Yes Can you play bass guitar? Yes Can you do this quickly? Yes
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: It's not a big guitar
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How quickly do you need it done? Do you have any charts/midi files which will save me transcribing your demos?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Send me a message
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Man, it feels like I am on a desert island with this lockdown. I have my bass, a bow, Spotify for playing along to the greatest musicians and some books of classical etudes. I guess number 5 might be the pocket trumpet I am trying to learn to play.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I played bass guitar in blues, then funk and jazz bands as a teenager. After dropping out of a physics degree I bought a double bass got a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London to study jazz. That was 1995 and I have been playing it ever since.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Someone once described my playing as lyrical and groovy which I am very happy with
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I just want to get back to playing with Pharoah when we can all travel again
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I guess it's all about making decisions. You can even make decisions about when you make decisions but sometimes you just have to stop thinking and play
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am really a jazz musician who is very happy playing great time with a good drummer
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I just play bass
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Hopefully I bring a warm, fat sound which will sit easily in the mix and underpin everything else. I am very happy to experiment with how interactive and busy a bass part should be and often give clients different versions they can edit between so some melodic fills can end up where they are contributing most to the song without getting too much.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: The client sends me whatever instructions, demos, charts they have along with the track with no bass. I may have to do some transcribing from the demo which is no problem, play from a chart or come up with a new bass part. I am very happy improvising off chord charts or a basic groove.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: These days I am mostly just using an SE Voodoo ribbon mic straight into logic via an Apogee Duet interface. I have a DPA 4099 which is a great sound too but I think the ribbon captures the whole bass in a natural and warm way.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My favourite bass players include Charlie Haden, Ron Carter, Danny Thompson, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Garrison and Scott La Faro
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most people want me to play upright bass on a track to replace a demo, adding subtleties, variety and warmth