Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley is bass player and musical director to the stars. He has performed with 35 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and counting. He has been musical director for Sam Moore, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Shirelles, The Crystals, The Tokens and has performed with: Sting, Elvis Costello, Temptations, Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Bo Diddley, Buster Poindexter, Uptown Horns, Paul Rodgers, Wynonna Judd, and David Foster.
Appearances include: Carnegie Hall (featured soloist with the Rock Concerto), Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize (with Cracked Ice led by Crispin Cioe), “Rock of Ages” on Broadway, Obama Inaugural Ball featured in the Barry Levinson documentary “Poliwood,” Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Today Show, Emeril Live, Imus in the Morning, Charlie Rose, Live with Regis & Kelly, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Istanbul State Symphony and Israel Symphony Orchestras.
Ivan is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Berklee College of Music. To date, he has traveled to 27 countries around the world and played to audiences of up to 82,000 people in performance settings ranging from jazz duos to 150-member symphony orchestras.
Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Ivan has resided and worked in: New Orleans, Los Angeles, London, Boston, and is now based in New York City. Ivan has a BA in Psychology from Tulane University, where he was Musical Director of college radio station WTUL, New Orleans. He was also a publicist with Epic Records/Sony Music.
“Look at That Cookie” is Funkboy’s fourth recording as bandleader. With Jim Dower on keyboards (Sam Moore, Savage Garden, Ne-Yo, etc.) and Joe Goretti on drums (Moby, Ne-Yo, Temptations, etc.), Ivan & company travel the world together backing Sam Moore, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and other royalty of soul music. On days off back in New York City, the trio creates instrumental groove music that might result if The Meters joined Lou Donaldson and Ramsey Lewis for a jam session. It’s soul-jazz that even has jam-band crossover appeal.
More information is available at: www.funkboy.net and www.facebook.com/funkboynyc.
Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley uses Warrior Basses, Hartke & Markbass Amplification, DR Strings, and Digitech and Line 6 signal processors. Ivan eats only Little Debbie snack cakes.
Bass Player Magazine, August 2009
Ivan Bodley, Pigs Feet & Potted Meat
Best known as one of New York’s top musical directors, bassist Ivan Bodley gathers his keyboardist and drummer, Jim Dower and Joe Goretti, for a goodtime romp through neo-preserved grooves that echo Motown, Memphis, P-Funk, ‘70s four-on-the-floor, and especially the Meters. “If Only,” “Long Hard Slog” and “Booty-licious” are among the salted, succulent spin-offs that really jell. (Chris Jisi)
Bass Player Magazine, Volume 18, Number 3, March 2007
BASS NOTES, News – Views – Faces – Places
IVAN BODLEY, On Building Intimacy With The Music, Sam Moore, Martha & The Vandellas
When Ivan Bodley gets a call, he knows he can probably handle the gig: The Berklee grad has played everything from acoustic upright to 8-string electric bass ranging from intimate jazz duos to 150-piece symphony orchestras and for audiences of up to 30,000. His resumé lists some of the greatest performers in classic pop and R&B, including 17 Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers. These gigs present their own challenges: As bassist and musical director for Martha & the Vandellas and former Sam & Dave singer Sam Moore, Ivan has the heavyweight task of copping the hallowed lines of Motown’s James Jamerson and Stax’s Duck Dunn, all while responding to the aesthetic demands of modern audiences.
How do you go about interpreting the work of bass legends while incorporating your own voice?
It’s a very subtle thing. It can involve little things like shifting the pocket forward slightly, adding occasional grace notes for a little extra grease, or throwing in fills that aren’t on the original but are completely within the original player’s style. People have an emotional connection to their favorite songs and want to hear what they love. I’m not a museum curator, but I need to have intimate knowledge of the original song, especially if it’s a famous part. Then it’s possible to inject live energy, excitement, or my own personality to the bass line, as long as I remain completely respectful to the song, the artist you’re working for, and the audience.
How do you get that intimate knowledge of the music?
I go back to the original recordings and learn them note for note. I’ll try to mimic their tone and articulation, and even learn their mistakes. I want to crawl inside the music. I play along and try to make my bass sound like part of the recording. Then I can start to absorb that particular player’s time, feel, and style.
As a bassist and music director, how do you get the right feel with a new group of players?
I immediately want to start feeling them out and seeing what they can bring to the table. I look to see if they’ve got the skills to read, play with feel, and follow direction. My job is to focus the band’s energy and interact with the other musicians in the best way I can to support the artist, while adding as much groove as I can as a bass player.
Can be heard on: Ivan Bodley “iBod,” Funkboy Music, 2006
Currently Spinning: Various Artists “A Cellarful of Motown,” Motown, 2005, King’s X, “Ogre Tones,” Inside Out, 2005
Gear: Bass: Two fretted and one fretless Warrior Funkboy model 5-strings, ’78 Fender Precision Bass, all with pink and peacock blue DR Extra life strings; late ‘60s East German plywood bass with Pierre Josephs String Charger bass pickup and Tomastik Spirocore strings.
Rig: Hartke 4000 and 3500 amps with Hartke 2.5XL 2x10 + 5 cab or two Hartke 410XL 4x10 cabinets.
Effects: DigiTech BP50, Line 6 Bass POD. “The Bass POD has a great B-15 model that I use.”