Bill “The Buddha” Dickens

Famed funkmeister opens up about new recordings and the “foundation of bass”

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
February 7, 2022

Acclaimed session bassist Bill “The Buddha” Dickens has certainly earned his status as a funk innovator. The award-winning musician, songwriter and producer is known for his furiously fast funk lines, memorable solos, and love of extended-range basses. While he’s probably best known for his funky endeavors, he’s been active in a variety of styles and has collaborated with a who’s who of music greats, including Pat Metheny, Stevie Wonder, Victor Wooten, Aretha Franklin, George Michael, Joe Zawinul, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Bernie Worrell, Mary J. Blige, Al Di Meola, Randy Newman, Steve Bailey, and Oteil Burbridge. Dickens has also worked actively with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and Leo Nocentelli of The Meters. His debut solo album, Tha Truth, was released in 2014. 

Watch our interview with Bill!

See Jon’s blog, with key takeaways from this interview here.

Comments on Bill “The Buddha” Dickens

  1. marcus davis says:

    Bill The Buddha Dickens is an absolute Beast of a player.When i watched him Slapping on a 7 String my jaws dropped !!

  2. Keith Copeland says:

    The AMAZING Bill Dickens!!!! There is sooo much more to Bill than flash and inhuman solos! I also was blessed to see Bill with Ramsey Lewis at Concerts by the Sea in Redondo Beach, California back in the 1980’s in a trio setting. He was playing an Ibanez Musician bass, which in my opinion, was Ibanez’ take on an Alembic. That was a killer bass and was easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended! There is only one Bill Dickens!!!

  3. Scott fitzgerald says:

    Bill was playing with “Ghalib Ghalab” (spelling?) in the late 70s through the 80s I believe. We would sneak in as seniors in high school to the “Jazz Bulls” by Lincoln Park. Ghalab was a ego filled idiot who would cut off his players mid solo if they were getting more attention than him as they often would. His only redeeming quality was he always put forth an all-star line up which included guitar virtuoso Herb Walker. Bill would absolutely shred, and not just solos, his grooves were impeccable. I remember seeing people just sitting there with their mouths hanging open lol. Caught up with him in Chicago at “Blues” with standing room only playing for Carlos Johnson. I didn’t recognize him at first as he had lost weight. Alot of weight! It wasn’t until I noticed his 7 string Conklin that I figured out it was him. I rejoiced, bought him a couple of shots-we toasted and shared stories we were both familiar with. He told me what he’d done from the 80s on. Wow-what a resume. He sold me his cd.(How good do you have to be where you don’t have to hustle your cds at a gig?). He was very gracious. We took some pictures trying to look thuggish lol. Great and memorable night. No one knew who he was except me. They watched with curiosity as I groveled in front of him.

    1. Jon Liebman says:

      Great story, Scott. Thanks for sharing it. Bill’s awesome for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *