Rob Wasserman, Masterful Upright Bassist, Dies After Brief Hospitalization

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Rob Wasserman, 1952-2016.

Rob Wasserman, the Grammy-winning bassist whose playing accompanied everyone from Van Morrison to Willie Dixon, died Wednesday after a brief hospitalization.

Bob Weir, a close friend who played with Wasserman most recently in his band Ratdog, announced the bassist's death today on Twitter.

A cause of death was not immediately known. The announcement came just hours after Weir posted that Wasserman had been hospitalized, asking for strength and support.

Wasserman studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, soon finding himself working alongside composer John Adams. Upon the release of his debut album Solo in 1982, produced by friend David Grisman, Wasserman quickly became a go-to bassist for musicians all over the Bay Area and beyond. The following albums Duets and Trios featured Wasserman alongside Lou Reed, Stéphane Grappelli, Jerry Garcia, Brian Wilson, Willie Dixon, Aaron Neville and others.


"I'm devastated to pass along that Rob Wasserman lost his struggle today, and we have lost a beautiful friend and artist," Weir wrote on his Facebook page. "I can still hear the sound of his bow playing those strings unamplified and pure. It's one of the most glorious sounds I've ever heard, and the music and warmth he gave us will live on in the hearts of everyone he touched."