Nominated for Bassist of the Year – 13th Annual LA Music Awards
Joseph McCreary, Jr., known professionally as Foley, is an American composer, musician, and photographer who is best known as the “lead bassist” with trumpeter Miles Davis from 1987 until 1991. With his custom-made Blue Marble bass, tuned nearly an octave higher than a standard bass guitar and processed through various effects, Foley was able to create the illusion of a lead guitarist.
Foley spent his early years playing in Columbus, Ohio, where he was born and raised, composing and recording his own music.
Foley is featured on the Miles Davis albums Amandla, Dingo, Live Around the World, The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux, and countless live bootleg recordings. Foley also plays a lead bass solo on Mint Condition’s R&B Top 40 hit “So Fine” and the interlude track “Gumbo” from their CD From the Mint Factory.
In 1993, during his time at Motown, Foley released 7 Years Ago….Directions In Smart-Alec Music. The album featured the AIDS-related song “If It’s Positive,” which is widely regarded as the first in a long line of AIDS awareness songs during the early 1990s. Foley performed this song live on BET’s award-winning show Teen Summit, in which then-host Belma Johnson had taken an AIDS/HIV test and revealed the results live on the air. That episode, featuring “If It’s Positive” and Foley’s AIDS awareness concerns, helped BET to win their first NAACP Image Award. The video features guest appearances from Speech and Aerle Taree of Arrested Development. The video had heavy rotation on BET as well. Foley later joined Arrested Development and can be seen in the group’s “Ease My Mind” video and their Arsenio Hall appearance in which he served as music arranger. He toured with Arrested Development from 1993 to 1994, alternately playing bass with Arrested Development and drums with Fishbone, during Lollapalooza ’93.
The Cité de la Musique showed a Miles Davis exhibition from October 16, 2009, to January 17, 2010, that included Foley’s famous “lead bass”.
Foley has shared the stage with an array of diverse artists including Sly Stone, George Clinton, Santana, Herbie Hancock, Prince, Chaka Khan, Patrice Rushen, El DeBarge, Al Jarreau, Alice in Chains, Foreigner, Bootsy Collins, Fishbone, Arrested Development, David Sanborn, Jungle Bros., Macy Gray, Mint Condition, Monica, Davina, Larry Dunn, Lenny White, Marcus Miller, Res, Khaleel, Chris Dave, and Primus.
Foley can currently be seen playing drums on tour with George Clinton.[when?] In 2008, he served as music arranger for performances with George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love on The Tonight Show and The Late Show