The Difference Between David Bowie And Lenny Kravitz, Gail Ann Dorsey Explains

During a recent interview with Guitar World Magazine, successful bassist Gail Ann Dorsey opened up about the differences between her tenure with David Bowie and Lenny Kravitz. Apparently, the two iconic musicians were utterly different in terms of their expectations from a bass player.

Apart from many other celebrated musicians she has worked with, Gail Ann Dorsey is perhaps best known for her lengthy tenure in David Bowie’s band from 1995 until his death in 2016. Dorsey’s tenure with the late musician started when she was recruited for his Outside Tour. After the Outside Tour, she continued to work with Bowie as she provided vocals and bass for the following albums such as ‘Earthling,’ ‘Heathen,’ ‘Reality,’ and ‘The Next Day.

Dorsey was on board for the last six tours of David Bowie and performed with the musician at the legendary ‘The Concert For New York’ at Madison Square Garden. She even recorded a duet with him entitled ‘Planet of Dreams,’ which was released on the 1997 EMI UK benefit CD release, ‘Long Live Tibet.’ Dorsey sang lead vocals on several other live recordings and videos, such as live versions of ‘Under Pressure’ and studio versions of ‘The London Boys,’ ‘Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?),’ and ‘I Dig Everything.’

David Bowie isn’t the only musician Gail Ann Dorsey is associated with, as she also collaborated with Lenny Kravitz. In fact, the bassist compared these musicians’ two different working styles during a recent interview. According to her, Bowie was incredibly fun to work with as he allowed his musicians to play with his own music, which gave Dorsey the freedom to explore her style.

However, Lenny Kravitz, who is also a praised bass player, was the exact opposite of Bowie in terms of letting his bass player perform the way they wanted. Instead, Kravitz was strict and wanted Dorsey to sound the same as he did. This aspect of working with Kravitz was both a challenge and educational for the bassist since it allowed her to study bass in real life.

About working with Bowie, Dorsey said:

“It was so much fun to work with him because he was always open to the exploration of his material. I’m there to serve the song, but given that freedom as a bass player to participate in the music was just great. It was the greatest blessing of my life. If it can be true that one person can change the whole trajectory of your life, he certainly did mine, and in such a powerful way.”

As for Kravitz, she stated:

“When it comes to the bass part, Lenny is completely the opposite. He wants it to sound exactly like he did it! And that’s a challenge sometimes, but it’s really fun for me because I discovered so much. You know, playing for lots of different people has been the best education for me as a bass player because I never went to school to study bass.”

It must have been hard for Gail Ann Dorsey to work with two completely distinct musicians, as it required her to adjust her bass playing. On the bright side, it also allowed her celebrated musicianship to grow further and gave birth to this type of information that fans are curious about.