Importantly, the instrument is modelled on the original bass which was given to jazz legend Ray Brown (who performed at the club many times by his one-time wife Ella Fitzgerald.
The original bass was built by AMATI , an Italian family of violin makers active in the 16th to 18th centuries and are held in such high esteem as the Stradivarius and Guarneri families
The bass has taken approximately 9 months (covered in 8 coats of varnish!) to produce from scratch by Laurence Dixon, a Clapham-based master instrument maker. Ronnie Scott's is indebted to the renowned Stentor instrument makers for donating the wood for the bass.
The original bass is still in existence and is played by a Canadian bass player in the Toronto Philharmonic. Laurence has been in regular contact with him so as to replicate key unique characteristics of the bass such as the ‘f’ holes, machine heads and the neck ‘scroll’.
The bass has become the ‘house bass’, and is played primarily by house bassist Sam Burgess but also by visiting headline musicians. It’s first ‘outing’ was with the Mingus Big Band and bandleader/bass player Boris Kozlov who immediately took a shine to the instrument and played it every show during the band's 6 night residency!
Our House Bassist Sam Burgess uses Innovation Bass Strings. Here is a short promo video, featuring Sam talking and explaining why he uses them, amongst other things ...