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  1. #1
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    Name your favorite Bass players and why.

    What are some of your favorite bassists and why do you like them? I grew up playing bass as a teen and always love hearing some good bass that is not just 3 0r 4 note keep the beat bass.

    First on my list is a Stanley Clark. Thats a given since he is the Benchmark and also a hometown boy.

    I also idolized 2 bassist because I also played a Rickenbacher bass. They would be-
    Chris Squire of YES fame. and...
    John Camp of Renaissance fame.
    As with Renaissance, no guitar was needed. They both played Lead Bass.

    Soon after that (1979) I was introduced to Jeff Berlin of Bruford fame. He bew my socks off.

    Then during Pat Metheny's first album tour, I came to love Mark Egan.

    Others on the list would be

    Nathan East
    Abraham Laborial(spelling)
    Anthony Jackson

    There are many more but how about if you all share some of your favs.

    In the spirit of participation,
    Hyfi.......even though every mouse click leads to a 35 secon wait!

  2. #2
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    Tony Levin

    I think Tony Levin is the top bass guy. He's also one of the best Chapman Stick players too.

    He can play in a very distinctive style all his own or play as a totally unnoticed rhythm section member. Very versatile.

    Take a look at the fully expanded "Appears on" list at AMG:

    http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p...=R98056#APPEAR

    The guy has played on like 400 albums.

  3. #3
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Yep, Tony Levin would be my first pick.

    He's an ace on the Chapman Stick, has played on a ridiculous number of albums (Zappa, Lennon, King Crimson etc., etc. etc.) and is one of the most versatile bassists out there. Troy is right on.

    A few other notables:

    John Myung: Another session master. Currently plays for Dream Theater.

    John Entswistle: Da Hoo. A one-man rhythm section, and probably one of the first rock players to incorporate lead bass lines. Was the anchor for the band, since Moon didn't really keep time.

    Cliff Burton: Early Metallica. One of the best thrash bassists ever, listen to "Anathesia (Pulling Teeth)" off their first album to get an idea of what he was capable of.

    Flea: Red Hot Chili Peppers. Slap-bass galore!

    John Wetton: Former bassist for King Crimson. A very good player, and has a decent voice too.

    Terry "Geezer" Butler: Black Sabbath. Another bass great, added a lot to early Sabbath's gloomy, oppressive feel.
    Last edited by mad rhetorik; 11-23-2003 at 11:54 AM.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "


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  4. #4
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    Mingus - Because he's a bad muther fukcer.

    and

    Flea - Because he makes me laugh.

  5. #5
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    Dang ya'll have taken all the good ones.

    Agree with all of them, even tho I don't know some of them.

    I like Chris of course (Yes) and was very impressed with Stanley Clark when I saw Return to Forever.

    Robbie Shakespear when he was with BMW was very good, and he also played for Peter Tosh.

    Tony Levin is great.

    Phil Lynott was incredible, plus he could sing great and write great lyrics.

    Dave

  6. #6
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    VICTOR WOOTEN - can't believe nobody has said this man, absolutely unbelievable whether you see his solo show with his bros or when he performs with one of the most talented groups out there, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Blows Flea out of the water if you want funky slap bass but can perform every style.

  7. #7
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    more

    Geddy
    Patatucci
    Myung
    Pastorious
    McCartney
    Bruce
    Sting

  8. #8
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Here we go again. Bass is not a lead instrument...

    Quote Originally Posted by HYFI
    What are some of your favorite bassists and why do you like them? I grew up playing bass as a teen and always love hearing some good bass that is not just 3 0r 4 note keep the beat bass.

    First on my list is a Stanley Clark. Thats a given since he is the Benchmark and also a hometown boy.

    I also idolized 2 bassist because I also played a Rickenbacher bass. They would be-
    Chris Squire of YES fame. and...
    John Camp of Renaissance fame.
    As with Renaissance, no guitar was needed. They both played Lead Bass.

    Soon after that (1979) I was introduced to Jeff Berlin of Bruford fame. He bew my socks off.

    Then during Pat Metheny's first album tour, I came to love Mark Egan.

    Others on the list would be

    Nathan East
    Abraham Laborial(spelling)
    Anthony Jackson

    There are many more but how about if you all share some of your favs.

    In the spirit of participation,
    Hyfi.......even though every mouse click leads to a 35 secon wait!
    and these guys you all mention are "over-players". My favorite bassist of all time is Jay Spero.

    Regards,
    Swish Baby
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  9. #9
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    Mike Porcaro great session player and the guy who passed away from the skynrd band.

  10. #10
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    Anybody know of the guitar player that was with Deep Purple recently. I watched the concert on the weekend and this Steve Morse really did a nice job on Highway Star.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    and these guys you all mention are "over-players". My favorite bassist of all time is...
    That guy stinks...that's probably the nicest thing anyone ever said about him.

    So when are you coming up to NYC so we can do some playin'?

    I like Paul McCartney, John Entwhistle, Bruce Thomas, Charles Mingus, Duck Dunn, Wesley Prince, Dee Dee Ramone, Paul Chambers, Richard Hell, Bill Wyman, and I loathe Sting but admire some of his work with the Police. Then there are guys whose work I don't know as well as the players listed above but I know I've heard 'em & I know they were influential & good: Milt Hinton, Slam Stewart, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Blanton...though some say he's overly-lauded.

    In most discussions about instrumental ability, I say way too much effort goes into the admiration of ability with little regard for thought about what the most gifted players could do if their focus lay elsewhere. I could never listen to guys like Victor Wooten or Stanley Clarke. Or Jaco Pastorius, for that matter. Flea overplays like hell too, but his understanding of music is far more universal. Which means that he's a guy who's capable of channeling the simplicity, or soul, or punk, or whatever, of a Willie Dixon or Dee Dee Ramone, and sound like he knows why it's important to do that. I've never heard that quality in Stanley Clarke.

    What I'm trying to say is that it's actually easier to identify who I don't like as opposed to who I do like. I like it when you almost don't notice the bass player. Nothing wrong with tasty lines, mind you, but it's not meant to be a lead instrument & the only instance where I've heard it used as one where it worked was the Police. The problem with some of the guys I like is that people with nowhere near the musical vision took inspiration from their ability without having comparable music to work with. For me, Entwhistle's overplaying made sense in the Who, because of what the Who was. When you have someone who has the same approach towards the instrument, but is in a band with a different dynamic (and, more importantly, lesser material), the result is not something I'm particularly interested in.

    OH, and anyone who plays a bass with more than 4 strings, or a fretless instrument, should have the damned thing shoved up their rectum.

    I don't like others.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire

    OH, and anyone who plays a bass with more than 4 strings, or a fretless instrument, should have the damned thing shoved up their rectum.


    Not sure why you say that^^^^^^^up there. Have you ever tried to play a fretless bass? Do you think you could play a regular guitar if it were fretless? Putting your fingers in exactly the right spot for the proper, in key note, is harder than you may think. I tought myself how to play a fretless bass as a teen. I can't read music but could listen to a line and play it.

    I also know a guy who builds custom exotic bass guitars. He made a 9 string bass for someone covering all the notes on a piano. Try playin that monster. If anyone cares, I can point you to his site and beautiful works of art being played by alot of top performers.

    Oh and before I forget. This post was not intended to be a pissing match about who overplays and underplays. It was just something to get folks talking about music, myself included. Nobody cares who's the best or better, just who you like and why. I still do enjoy your essays anyway.

    Hyfi
    Click................Wait......................... ...............................................

  13. #13
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    Les Claypool of Primus, of course!

  14. #14
    Strange Ranger richmon's Avatar
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    the missing link

    Great choices above, just one of my favorites has been omitted.............Jack Cassidy of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.

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    For rock, I like Graham Maby who performs with Joe Jackson and Marshall Crenshaw. I believe he's toured with Graham Parker, too. Very solid rhythm, and his occasional solos are interesting, too.

    For jazz, I like Ray Drummond a lot. Very versatile and always a driving force. A nice showcase album for him is 'Two of a Kind,' a duet with pianist John Hicks.

    Additional favorites other than those mentioned in previous posts include Charlie Haden (e.g., 'Beyond the Missouri Sky' with Pat Metheny and most of his Quartet West albums are excellent), Marc Johnson (Bill Evans' last bassist whose solo albums are also very good), and Mario Pavone (Thomas Chapin's bassist who also heads his own ensembles, comparable to Mingus).

  16. #16
    Bipolar Bingo Enthusiast Chip_B's Avatar
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    A few I like

    Quote Originally Posted by HYFI
    What are some of your favorite bassists and why do you like them? I grew up playing bass as a teen and always love hearing some good bass that is not just 3 0r 4 note keep the beat bass.

    First on my list is a Stanley Clark. Thats a given since he is the Benchmark and also a hometown boy.

    I also idolized 2 bassist because I also played a Rickenbacher bass. They would be-
    Chris Squire of YES fame. and...
    John Camp of Renaissance fame.
    As with Renaissance, no guitar was needed. They both played Lead Bass.

    Soon after that (1979) I was introduced to Jeff Berlin of Bruford fame. He bew my socks off.

    Then during Pat Metheny's first album tour, I came to love Mark Egan.

    Others on the list would be

    Nathan East
    Abraham Laborial(spelling)
    Anthony Jackson

    There are many more but how about if you all share some of your favs.

    In the spirit of participation,
    Hyfi.......even though every mouse click leads to a 35 secon wait!
    Willie Dixon was a giant, but that has a lot more to do with his incredible song-writing talents than with his bass playing

    I also like:
    Andy West (former Dregs bassist),
    Noel Redding and Jack Bruce (for the same reasons J likes Entwhistle)
    Dave Larue (Steve Morse Band)
    Roscoe Beck (Robben Ford and the Blue Line)
    Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton and Robin Trower)
    Bootsy Collins (Funkadelic/Parliament/Bootsy's Rubber Band)
    Berry Oakley (Allman Brothers Band)
    Paul McCartney
    Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)
    "The Blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad"

    -Willie Brown

  17. #17
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Hey Richmon, I just saw Hot Tuna Monday night.

    Quote Originally Posted by richmon
    Great choices above, just one of my favorites has been omitted.............Jack Cassidy of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.
    It was an 'all acoustic" show, with Jack and Jorma in fine form. Their music brings back some memories.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  18. #18
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    Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    It was an 'all acoustic" show, with Jack and Jorma in fine form. Their music brings back some memories.

    They do thier all acoustic show every year down here at the Keswick. Where did you see them? Jorma lives right here in Solebury...near New Hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Over50
    Anybody know of the guitar player that was with Deep Purple recently. I watched the concert on the weekend and this Steve Morse really did a nice job on Highway Star.
    Steve Morse was with the Dixie Dregs for many years and has been voted "Best Rock Guitarist" by Guitar Player magazine for about 100 years. He also has some solo records out. An incredible player!

  20. #20
    Strange Ranger richmon's Avatar
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    Jorma n Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    It was an 'all acoustic" show, with Jack and Jorma in fine form. Their music brings back some memories.
    Last year they played the an old movie theatre in Pitman NJ, I was 10 feet away!. Jorma is a talented guitarist with none of the guitar hero attitude for someone with his pedigree, real down to earth. Every year I think about making the drive to the Keswick but it's 90 minutes or so for me. Plus I saw acoustic Strawbs this past Saturday @ the Tin Angel in Philly, terrific show with a 3 guitar lineup doing all their good stuff, so I got my concert fix a little closer to home. Anyone for a Hot Tuna comp? I've got a two disc best of Tuna and could cherry pick the goodies offa that.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
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    fretless & overplaying debate...

    I played bass too. I (generally) agree that the best bassists are ones that aren't THAT noticeable (overplaying). Playing "less" is a difficult thing, because it takes more smarts and control. Same with most good "art"... the best writers, painters, poets, composers etc know what "to leave out". Many players like to play too much (simply because they can)... it's akin to people who always have their mouth open, yacking it up.... and never listen. It's one thing when you're soloing (goes for any instrument), but the best BANDS are great because they meld together to the point it's hard to hear/see the edges of the individual parts.

    I'm not going to get into the fretless debate... doesn't really matter to me. Same as using a pick vs not using one... I think both ways are fine, and a lot depends on one's natural feel. However...

    If you think fretless bass is more difficult than a fretted one (it is of course), pick up a violin. Not only doesn't it have frets, it's a small % the size of a bass. Nevermind just stringing the bow precisely the right way to get a (non-squeaking) sound, the fingering of the left hand is unbelievably difficult, especially if you have big hands and fingers (like I do). No frets to rely on for the proper note, but also no frets means you have to "hit" the string with your finger with a more exact "touch" without the fret there so the string vibrates properly. It's something every kid should be exposed to when they're 10-15 (just for fun in school), so they will always appreciate classical artists as adults, even if they don't like the music.

  22. #22
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    I saw them at the Wittaker Center in Harrisburg.

    Quote Originally Posted by HYFI
    They do thier all acoustic show every year down here at the Keswick. Where did you see them? Jorma lives right here in Solebury...near New Hope.

    It's a really beatiful and modern facility that was built for sound. I've seen a bunch of shows there, most recently Los Lobos and Jonatha Brooke. It fairly small (800 or so capacity) and not a bad seat in the house. Oh, I forgot to mention that they also had Barry Mitterhoff with them too. He does a fine job on mandolin, and he also played something that looked like a lute and also a four string guitar (had 2 f-holes like my '59 Gibson L50, but a very narrow neck and, like I said, only 4 strings).
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    >Have you ever tried to play a fretless bass?

    Sure.

    >Do you think you could play a regular guitar if it were fretless?

    With practice, sure. It might be challenging, especially at first, but it has more to do with skills that aren't exactly musical. Perhaps quasi-musical, but it certainly has nothing to do with music, and everything to do with applications that don't necessarily have all that much to do with music in general.

    >Putting your fingers in exactly the right spot for the proper, in key note, is harder than you may think.

    No, I do know how hard it is. I never said it was easy. But the frets are there for a reason. I have nothing against skill. But my feeling is that a performer should be focused on what it is that they're playing, not the hoops they have to jump through to play it. What's the point? It's an unnecessary multitasking exercise that only players are going to truly appreciate in the first place. I noticed a long time ago that people who play such things never seem to make music that I think is any damn good. It's like seeing drummers loading roto-toms onto a stage, I know I won't like the band. After you see 500 bands with certain types of equipment, and you think they're all terrible, you retain biases. I'm sorry that it goes against the idea of being open-minded, but the next fretless player I see in a band that I actually think is good will be the first...at best, the second or third.

    >I tought myself how to play a fretless bass as a teen. I can't read music but could listen to a line and play it.

    That's nothing to sneeze at; it's just that for me personally, the fretless is generally used only to create stuff I have no use for. By the way, having the ear to pick up parts is very important. I was reading music at a young age but haven't spent but a few hours looking at charts in the past 20 years. My ear has always been what I use to learn music on guitar & bass.

    >I also know a guy who builds custom exotic bass guitars. He made a 9 string bass for someone covering all the notes on a piano. Try playin that monster. If anyone cares, I can point you to his site and beautiful works of art being played by alot of top performers.

    Well, that's great, and some of these things are beautiful works of art. My issue is with them musically, as they're generally used by people who make music I just don't like. Which is not to say that I care whether or not they spend their time creating art I don't like, as I'm fully aware they're going to do it whether I approve or not. Go, play, create, wank, whatever, to yr heart's content. But I don't think it's a coincidence that I've never found myself playing with people who use those sorts of instruments. There's a philosophical/musical divide & I take the time to call attention to it because I have nothing better to do, so I don't see the problem in illustrating the difference to those who otherwise might not realize.

    I realize that I'm setting myself up as the musical equivalent of some stick-up-the-ass paint-and-brush artist who has all this disdain for people who use unconventional methods to paint--such as rolling around naked in the stuff, using yr pecker, whatever. Such people didn't look too kindly on Jackson Pollock for his drip technique. But I'm more interested in the final result, so in truth I don't care if a player uses a fretless or a 5-string or whatever. But I know that precious few non-traditional basses have been used to create music that I enjoy, which is all that I care about. If a band uses all this fancy nonsense & comes up with something that I think is good, then I'll know it can be done & not care about what I see as the ridiculous nature of these instruments & how they appeal to players who make music I think is horrible, self-indulgent garbage. But I'm still waiting.

    >Oh and before I forget. This post was not intended to be a pissing match about who overplays and underplays. It was just something to get folks talking about music, myself included. Nobody cares who's the best or better, just who you like and why. I still do enjoy your essays anyway.

    Oh, hell, I'm sorry if I turned this into a pissing match. That wasn't my intent. It's just that, you know, there's a best bassists or best guitarists or best drummers thread once a year or so. Yeah, a 'favorite' thread is & should be a little different. Maybe I shouldn't have opened up my big mouth but I did kinda want to make the point that even 'favorite' (as opposed to 'best'--for instance, Neil Peart is 'best' to a lot of people when it comes to drummers, and he may be, but it hardly matters if I think his band is the worst, which they're threatening for the title of for the past 30 years) doesn't have all that much to do with what I like about music. In other words, I certainly have no problem with the admiration of individual ability, but I never bought a Beatles or Who or Elvis Costello record thinking how much I'd like it because I liked the bass players in those bands so much. So I just felt I'd go ahead & make the point that the admiration of an individual player that's supposed to be part of a whole is something that's taking into account individual ability over music, which is not what music's about to me. I certainly didn't mean to be pissy about it. If overplayers would take the time to do some work in a non-overplaying idiom (as Flea has done), I'd have a lot more respect for their understanding of music outside the realm of what it is that their abilities allow them to exploit.

    I don't like others.

  24. #24
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    In no particular order... mostly great session players:

    Leland Sklar
    Mark Egan
    David Hungate
    Jimmy Johnson
    Steve Rodby
    Nathan East
    Roy Husky Jr.
    Abraham Laboriel

    Q

  25. #25
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    and these guys you all mention are "over-players". My favorite bassist of all time is Jay Spero.
    So what's he, an "under-player"?

    Nothing but tonics, baby!
    Last edited by Dusty Chalk; 11-27-2003 at 09:26 AM.
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