Tower of Power took soul music to unprecedented levels with their ‘70s super hits. Nick Wells chills out with legendary bass man Rocco Prestia.

Tower of Power are a phenomenal band, you better believe it. With a staggering career spanning close to five decades, they have created some of the most influential, horn-fuelled R&B hits in music history – milestone albums such as Bump City from 1972, with songs like You Got To Funkifize and Down to the Nightclub: the 1973 album Tower of Power, with monster hits like What is Hip? and the ballad So Very Hard to Go. Squib Cakes and Don’t Change Horses (In the Middle of a Stream) from the Back to Oakland album are two more fine examples.

But check out Rocco Prestia’s masterful bass playing, in particular on a track from Urban Renewal called Only So Much Oil in the Ground, and you’ll hear tasty Jaco-esque octaves and his unmistakable brand of sixteenth note finger-style funk. “I just do my job!” says Rocco. “I’m not a real flashy kind of guy or a soloist. I’m more comfortable when I’m tucking into the groove.”

So what’s next for Tower of Power? “We’re in the process of recording a new album, which we’ve been working on in-between touring. We’ve tried different things over the years, but when we’re true to ourselves and play the way we play, we tend to find that we’re much better off. We’ll have to see where this one goes.”