Sound Observations With Tony Muhammed of the Anthology House Band

Saturday, December 18, 2010 15:22

By David Moye

As a musician, Tony Muhammad isn’t a household name – unless your house is Anthology.

He’s the bass player and leader of the House Band and, as such, he’s the man responsible for setting up the musical decisions when the band plays on Tuesday nights.

“I start thinking about the set list Sunday evening and by Monday, it’s arranged and I hand to the guys,” Muhammad said.

Anthology House Band

Anthology House Band

Having personally put together the band when the club opened in 2007, Muhammad takes personal pride in the wide variety of musical styles the band plays.

“Our set list probably has over 1000 songs,” he said. “That’s the way it’s designed, so we can go anywhere, whether it’s love ballads on Mother’s Day, salsa on Latin night, or Motown. It’s good to have the musicians we have because we say, ‘Let’s do this [song] and just go.’”

Although the band plays every Tuesday at Anthology, Muhammad is quick to point out that many of the musicians can play with anyone. Muhammad himself has played with jazz great Stanley Turrentine, trumpet player Derek Cannon has played the Temptations and percussionist Steve Haney has played with Stevie Wonder.

“I think it’s the best band in San Diego,” he said.

Muhammad leads the band, but casual observers may not see him doing that because he prefers to stay in the back, letting singer Rebecca Jade and Cannon be the focus for the audience.

“I’m like a quarterback calling the plays,” he said. “The way I work with Rebecca and Derek is like a triangle. I always set up between the piano and the drummer. I’m behind Rebecca so she can’t see me, but Derek sees me and I can give him a signal and he tells Rebecca.”

Like the other musicians in the Anthology House Band, Muhammad is good enough to play anywhere. And like the the musicians, he chooses to make San Diego his home.

“I like the energy and the pace,” he said. “It’s more refined than L.A.”

The House Band’s next big gig is the Second Annual Holiday Show taking place on December 21 and 22. It’s a family friendly event that lets the band jam out on great holiday classics.

Not only does the occasion allow the band to play Christmas music in their own style, Muhammad sees it as a chance to get the kids in attendance a chance to appreciate improvisation.

“Since most people are familiar with the melodies, they can sing along even if we’re playing them with a different beat,” he said. “Plus, it’s just fun seeing the kids.”

WHAT: Holiday Shows featuring the Anthology House Band
WHEN: Tuesday, December 21st & Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
MORE INFO: Artist Profile