Stephan Crump

Bassist • Producer • Composer

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9 Reviews (2 Verified)
Stephan Crump on SoundBetter

Memphis-bred, Grammy-nominated, Echo Award-winning bassist with 30 years of professional experience and a passion for recording. I care deeply about shaping the song and finding ways to elevate the music, with a goal of complete communication, from booty, to heart, to mind.

Best known for my work with leading lights of creative instrumental music in NYC, I also maintain collaborations with a broad range of songwriters, as well as artists more closely connected to the R&B roots of my upbringing.

Whether on acoustic or electric bass, I shape paths of magnetism. With a focus on finding just the right sound and feel for the song, I search for a continuous development, adding layers of meaning, a song within the song.

I'm an accomplished composer and bandleader, with twelve releases of my own, as well as scoring credits in HBO, Miramax, and Simple Focus films. For over 20 years I’ve been producing and mixing albums in our home studio, where we have a great collection of mic’s, pre’s, outboard gear, and instruments, enabling me to contribute rich and beautiful sounds to your music, as well as arranging and recording such additions as strings, horns, keyboards, and other sounds.

I love to collaborate with other creative spirits, and I value clear and open communication.

“he offers solid foundations that morph and dilate with an almost imperceptible fluidity” The New York Times
“a deeply resonant, gut-punching bassist" NPR
“astonishingly beautiful playing” London Jazz News
“a deep, woody timbre that’s as malleable as it is muscular” Chicago Reader
"an impressive and original voice” The Wire
"bareness in emotion" NPR

Send me a note through the contact button above.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Stephan Crump
  • Kassa Overall
  • Liberty Ellman
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Rajna Swaminathan
  • Joel Harrison
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer Sextet
  • Stephan Crump
  • Ingrid Laubrock
  • Cory Smythe
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer Trio
  • Stephan Crump
  • Mary Halvorson
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  • Mary Halvorson
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  • Mary Halvorson
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  • Mary Halvorson
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  • Mary Halvorson
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  • The Rosetta Trio
  • Stephan Crump's Rosetta Trio
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  • Stephan Crump
  • The Rosetta Trio
  • Stephan Crump's Rosetta Trio
  • Stephan Crump
  • The Rosetta Trio
  • Stephan Crump's Rosetta Trio
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer Trio
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer Trio
  • Lucy Kaplansky
  • Joel Harrison
  • Joel Harrison 7
  • Girlyman
  • Stephan Crump
  • Steve Lehman
  • Andy Friedman
  • Andy Friedman
  • Andy Friedman
  • Andy Friedman
  • Lauren Kinhan
  • Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet
  • Jim Campilongo
  • Stephan Crump
  • The Rosetta Trio
  • Stephan Crump
  • The Rosetta Trio
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  • The Rosetta Trio
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  • The Rosetta Trio
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  • The Rosetta Trio
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  • The Rosetta Trio
  • Stephan Crump
  • The Rosetta Trio
  • Stephan Crump
  • The Rosetta Trio
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer Trio
  • Jen Chapin
  • Jen Chapin
  • Joel Harrison
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Joel Harrison
  • Joel Harrison
  • Joel Harrison
  • Lucy Kaplansky
  • Lucy Kaplansky
  • Lucy Kaplansky
  • Lucy Kaplansky
  • Mark McAdam
  • Liberty Ellman
  • Liberty Ellman
  • Liberty Ellman
  • Jen Chapin
  • Jen Chapin
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  • Jen Chapin
  • Jen Chapin
  • Jen Chapin
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  • Jen Chapin
  • Stephan Crump
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  • Dan Willis
  • Dan Willis
  • Joel Harrison
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Jen Chapin
  • Jen Chapin
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  • The Mahavishnu Project
  • The Mahavishnu Project
  • The Mahavishnu Project
  • Joel Harrison
  • Joel Harrison
  • Joel Harrison
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Vijay Iyer
  • K.J. Denhert
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Mike Ladd
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Mike Ladd
  • Liberty Ellman
  • The Mahavishnu Project
  • Jen Chapin
  • Jen Chapin
  • Jen Chapin
  • Weimarband
  • Stephan Crump
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  • Jen Chapin
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Cocktail Angst
  • Cocktail Angst
  • Tony Noe
  • Stephan Crump
  • Stephan Crump
  • Stephan Crump
  • Big Ass Truck
  • David Pope
  • Kevn Kinney
  • Andy Pratt
  • Stephan Crump
  • Ingrid Laubrock
  • Cory Smythe
  • Stephan Crump
  • Ingrid Laubrock
  • Cory Smythe
  • Stephan Crump
  • Ingrid Laubrock
  • Cory Smythe
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  • Ingrid Laubrock
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  • James Carney
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  • Rez Abbasi
  • Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet
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  • Liberty Ellman
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  • Stephan Crump

9 Reviews - 1 Repeat Client

Endorse Stephan Crump
  1. Review by Rita H.
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    It was a pleasure to work with Stephan! We had a last minute project come in and needed double bass recorded for it - Stephan delivered in really short notice. Will definitely be working with him again!

  2. Review by Richard D.
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    Stephan not only delivered, but elevated my project in wondrous ways. He clued into the sonic vibe and instrumented his tones accordingly, but also honed into the emotion of the lyric. Leaning into the song in this way so deepened it overall. What was really cool, too, is that Stephan was pliable to my ideas, yet guided me with humble expertise when I needed it. And I did. Besides being such a seasoned player, his patience and professionalism makes him a dream collaborator.

  3. Review by Anjna Swaminathan
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    by Anjna Swaminathan

    Where do I begin with Stephan... His tone, energy, and sense of calm bring so much to any musical or emotional space. He has been a cornerstone of all of my ensembles to date and continues to be a pillar of musical and spiritual presence even during the pandemic. Collaboratively, Stephan is a gift, a deep listener, and a magnetic co-conspirator. He is not just any bassist. He shapeshifts in and out of multiple modes of accompaniment, improvisation, and leadership, constantly creating moments of breathe and ease while bringing his unique and luxurious voice in exactly where it is needed. 10/10!

  4. Review by Lisanne Tremblay
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    by Lisanne Tremblay

    Stephan has a way of engaging with the music which will definitely take your project to the next level. As we were recording my upcoming album, I could tell he was always giving his 150%. His deep listening, his caring and curious attitude, and his incredible musicianship made me feel truly supported and inspired. His unique musical ideas, including some particularly impressive ones performed with the bow, also gave rise to many magical moments. I am very grateful for his precious contributions and I highly, highly recommend him.

  5. Review by Liberty Ellman
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    by Liberty Ellman

    There's a reason I've used Stephan on my recordings for more than a decade. He has wonderful time, impeccable tuning and knows what it means to play the bass. Always laying it down in the pocket, but with creativity. He's a great collaborator and a total pro. He does have a top notch setup so your tracks will sound great sonically as well as musically.

  6. Review by Brian Bacchus
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    by Brian Bacchus

    Stephan Crump is not only an amazing musician as well as bass player, his recording setup is completely hi-end! I've worked with him in various situations from jazz to singer/songwriter to soulful R&B and he brings it sonically, harmonically and especially melodically! He is a secret weapon that you want to scream about but at the same time, you want to keep secret so no other producers get to use him! He's that good! And that is on both all his acoustic AND electric basses.
    2 thumbs all the way up! www.brianmichelbacchus.org

  7. Review by Kassa Overall
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    by Kassa Overall

    Stephan Crump has a consistency of not only incredible musicianship, but also top tier recording quality. He has the perfect setup to get whatever sound we need, as well as multiple basses. I love having his acoustic sound serve as the glue to bring all my weird concoctions together!

  8. Review by Rajna Swaminathan
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    by Rajna Swaminathan

    Having worked with Stephan over the last 5 years, I have witnessed the profound care with which he approaches his sound. He's a thoughtful and sensitive listener, and he can really make the bass sing. He brings out wonderful new dimensions to any music you present to him, and highlights the infinite possibilities of the bass. I highly recommend hiring him!

  9. Review by Jordan Perlson
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    Stephan is, and will always be, one of my favorite bassists to work with. Huge sound, intense, precise, and committed to making the band feel amazing. The kind of bass player you want on your project, regardless of style. Hire him!

Interview with Stephan Crump

  1. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  2. A: My upright bass, my bow, my '66 Jazz bass, my Ampeg B-15, and an extremely large water bottle

  3. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  4. A: I fell in love with the music of Stevie Wonder as a child and started piano around age 6. I've been making music ever since. But I was always drawn to the bass. I got my first electric bass at age 13 and played in rock and funk bands throughout high school. I began my journey with the upright bass in college. In 1994, straight from college, I moved to NYC with the goal of making a life in music, and I've been blessed to do so ever since. I've always been drawn toward different modes of making music, what is most often called genre. So, before I spent all night at the jazz jam sessions, meeting the players I would later form groups with, I could also be found gigging on the blues and R&B scene in the Village. Or in the daytime, doing film scoring sessions, and writing and rehearsing with songwriters. It's always been rich and diverse for me, even if in the last ten or so years there has been a deepening focus on my creative instrumental collaborations.

  5. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  6. A: Especially with the tools of the digital realm tempting us to move everything around and line it all up, such notions of perfection can suck the life out of the music. As much as possible, I turn off my monitor, and I go for performances, for capturing the moment, and a presence within the moment. Perfection of intent.

  7. Q: What's your typical work process?

  8. A: In most cases, I ask for a rough mix to work with. At times I'll need certain elements separated, such as vocals, so that I can have more control toward the focus I need on the track. I'll discuss with the artist any strong feelings about what is needed or desired, and I'll also share my own ideas, as they come. Sometimes what's called for is quite specific and clear, so we go that direction. Other times, it can be more open, and that's fun, too. I'll try one or two approaches and share them, often with a two or more mic and/or DI tracks, so that there are options for the mix. Then we discuss and take care of any changes that are needed. On the technical end, of course I make sure we're agreeing on what's needed, from sample rate to what zero is, etc...

  9. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  10. A: I work with a lot of singer-songwriters, but representing quite a diverse range of musical sources. And plenty of instrumental music, as well. I love to groove, but also find connectivity in very spacious music.

  11. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  12. A: Sound, feel, and development. Sorry, was that more than one?!

  13. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  14. A: First, I make sure to take care of business by finding a great sound and the right feel for the song. Beyond that, though, I look for ways to develop the song along its path, so that it really is a journey and not just "this happens here, then this happens here." Sometimes that means the line, the sound, and/or the feel really morph along the way, but it can also happen through quite subtle shifts in the approach to any of those elements. I'm just looking for ways to take it to another level.

  15. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  16. A: Over twenty years ago, we hired a studio builder to float this space within a large spare room in our Brooklyn apartment. It's a dream come true just to have this in the city, plus it turned out to be a great-sounding space. Over this time, I've been digging deeper into using our tools, producing albums for myself, numerous colleagues, and clients. We have a lot of different instruments, with a Schimmel upright piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Prophet, Sonor drum kit, all kinds of vintage tube amps, dynamic mic's, ribbon mic's, small and large diaphragm condensers, a few great pre-amp options, outboard compression, tape delay, spring reverb, analog summing with the Chandler Mini Mixer, using Pro Tools with a Universal Audio Apollo system. I like our setup, as we have all we need to get beautiful and varied sounds, going in, then from there a good partnership of outboard and in-the-box mix tools.

  17. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  18. A: I care about the music and always try my best.

  19. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  20. A: I love to collaborate and interact with different creative spirits.

  21. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  22. A: The most common is my receiving a rough mix of the song to which I can add an acoustic or electric bass line. I also get plenty of requests to arrange and even record other parts for the song, such as strings or horns. But I've also enjoyed jobs for which I was asked to compose, record, and mix the entire piece of music for a client's specific needs.

  23. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  24. A: I've been doing this long enough to appreciate what the all-analog world offered and required of us. Digital has come a long way, though, and there's so much to appreciate about it, along with plenty of pitfalls. I do my best to take the sonic and performance-based workflow ideals of the analog world into my work in the digital realm.

  25. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  26. A: It can be good to know what you want, but we should all remain open to discovery.

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Carry You by Brian Owens

I was the Bassist and String Arranger in this production

Terms Of Service

Please get in touch to discuss specifics. Generally, 1-3 days turnaround for bass recording, 1 revision included. $50 per revision, after that. String & other arrangements + recordings up to 1 week.

GenresSounds Like
  • Richard Davis
  • Tony Levin
  • Pino Palladino
Gear Highlights
  • '63 Saumer German upright bass
  • '66 Jazz Bass
  • '73 P Bass
  • '72 Fretless P Bass
  • '63 Epiphone Rivoli
  • Ampeg B-15 B-12
  • Aguilar DB359 AG500
  • Fearn/Chandler/API pre's
  • LawsonL47
  • RCA44
  • NeumannKM54
  • Beyer160
  • Coles4038
  • DemeterTubeDI
  • ChandlerMiniMixer
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