Gail Ann Dorsey

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Gail Ann Dorsey is one of contemporary rock's top session bass players and background vocalists. Although her solo albums -- The Corporate World in 1988 and Rude Blue in 1992 -- failed to generate much…
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Gail Ann Dorsey is one of contemporary rock's top session bass players and background vocalists. Although her solo albums -- The Corporate World in 1988 and Rude Blue in 1992 -- failed to generate much interest, Dorsey has continued to attract acclaim with her imaginative playing and luscious vocals. In addition to working with such bands as Gang of Four, The The, Tears for Fears, God's Home Movie, Affinity, and Mall, Dorsey has made important contributions to the music of the Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, and Jane Siberry.

Dorsey's greatest work has come as a member of David Bowie's band since 1995. She was featured on Bowie's 1997 album, Earthling, and tours in 1995-1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2002. High point of the shows were a duet version of "Under Pressure" that she performed with Bowie, and renditions of "London Boys" and "I Dig Everything," on which she played clarinet.

A native of West Philadelphia, Dorsey grew up eight blocks from the Tower Theater, where Bowie recorded an influential live album in 1974. Playing guitar from the age of nine, she cites Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, the late Terry Kath of Chicago, Jimi Hendrix, and Nancy Wilson of Heart as early influences. Although she acquired a bass shortly after her 14th birthday, she didn't consider herself a bass player until she was 20. Although her earliest aspirations were to become a screenwriter and she studied film at CalArts, a small arts-oriented college in Santa Clarita, CA, Dorsey turned to music after realizing the difficulties of earning a living in film.