Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Milestones

The bass players

173 posts in this topic

I’ve put together a couple of playlists of bass playing—well over 2 hours. The bass is certainly essential to jazz, as can been by seen in the fact that few jazz groups drop the instrument and it can be found in numerous piano/bass settings—many by the late Charlie Haden, as well as a new record by Kenny Baron and Dave Holland. Mingus, and certainly Holland, can really drive a group with their bass playing. Mingus was one of the first guys in jazz that really impressed me, though of course he was a multi-threat with those skills in composing, arranging, and band-leading.

I’m a big fan of Charlie Haden, but also a whole host of players: Ron Carter, Richard Davis, Ray Brown, Eddie Gomez, Christian McBride, and many more. In electric bass, the top players (for me) are Jaco, Stanley Clarke, and Steve Swallow (not much beyond them).

I’m looking for your favorite bassists, but even more particularly favorite performances. I’m not necessarily talking about long bass solos, but rather uses of the bass that are very striking and effective.

Edited by Milestones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're a Haden fan, check out Wilbur Ware on:

Johnny Griffin Sextet (Riverside) - "Woody'n You" and "Catharsis" have duet portions with just J.G. and Ware - wonderful stuff.

J.R. Monterose (BN) - Ware and Philly Joe are locked in on this fate.

Hank Mobley: Hank - (BN)

Kenny Drew: This Is New - "It's You or No One"

Doug Watkins is another bassist you may want to listen to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John Edwards is one of the 3 or 4 musicians that I have not had the opportunity to see live that I would love to see live.

I love most of the bassists on your list.

My preference is towards the Peter Kowald influenced or free improvisation area when it comes to bassists.

I love the NY avant-garde scene - Mark Dresser, John Hebert, William Parker, Mark Helias, Max Johnson, Trevor Dunn, Ed Schuller, Michael Formanek, etc. - all wonderful players with Dresser & Helias at the top of the local list for me.

However - when it comes to current bassists, my list is John Edwards, Barry Guy and Paul Rogers.

Intense brilliant improvisors who have taken the limits of the instrument to new levels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jacques Coursil - Way Ahead (BYG) - some of my favorite Béb Guerin is on here

Barre Phillips - Journal Violon (Opus One) - the first solo bass record and in my opinion, still the best.

Alan Silva - on Cecil Taylor's Unit Structures in particular, his playing on the title suite is just extraordinary.

Gary Peacock - his playing, in tandem with Mark Proctor and on his own, on the Sonny Simmons/Prince Lasha album "The Cry" is just phenomenal. This is even apart from his great work with Ayler, on Anthony Williams' Blue Notes, and throughout the mid-60s is just wonderful.

Malachi Favors - man, where to start? I first really caught wind of his greatness on the Art Ensemble BYGs but he's great throughout all the early AACM material, going forward from Roscoe's Sound. And his solo LP on AECO is the shit.

Jeff Clyne - he's on a lot of excellent records but I first got wind of him on Tony Oxley's The Baptised Traveller. Similarly I think that though I'd heard Barry Guy the record to click for me was Howard Riley's The Day Will Come, which is as much Guy's record as Riley's.

Buschi Niebergall - his playing on Nipples (Peter Broetzmann) just knocks me out. I actually prefer him to Kowald when it comes to German heavyweight bassists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite bass solo (and I know you weren't asking about solos in particular) just might be Wilbur Ware's on the mono take of "Decidedly," on the Gerry Mulligan/Thelonious Monk Riverside album. He's playing a walking, on-the-beat solo, which at some point he turns around so that he's playing on the offbeats. There are other delights as well.

My favorite underrated bassist is Michael Moore. I think that he is often overlooked because he can often be found in somewhat conservative settings - with cabaret singers or musicians who lean toward an older aesthetic, like Ruby Braff, for example. But he's worth seeking out. He plays some beautiful duets with Kenny Barron on the 1+1+1 album. (Ron Carter is the other "1.")

And Henry Grimes! Superb in any kind of music - straight-ahead or as free as it gets. One of the all-time greats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kent Carter - again, really love his playing with Steve Lacy, though I must say that the String Trio discs from more recent years are particularly wonderful. "I was born in New Hampshire and I am not yet dead." Best LP liner bio ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off the top of my head

Reggie Workman on "Prayer for Peace" from Charles Tolliver - Live at Loosdrecht

Alex Blake from the title track of Charles Sullivan - Genesis

Charles Mingus - on "Hora Decibutus": from Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus, "Haitian Fight Song" from The Clown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grimes was great, but it's always hard to bring him up because of the whole "return" thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grimes was great, but it's always hard to bring him up because of the whole "return" thing.

Don't quite know what you mean.

But your earlier post mentioning Lacy made me wonder how I could possibly have forgotten to mention the incredible Jean-Jacques Avenel, mostly found with Lacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maarten Altena on Marion Brown's Porto Novo for sure, another great performance on Marion's most unruly LP.

Speaking of Brown, Ronnie Boykins and Reggie Johnson perform some of the best two-bass interplay I've ever heard on ESP 1022.


Buell Neidlinger with Cecil.

Yes! Very fond of his work, especially on "This Nearly Was Mine" from the first Candid record.

There are a lot of excellent Grimes performances on record. The last ten years and the hullaballoo around his "return" gets under my skin, but it's not really his fault. It's the people around him.


Motoharu Yoshizawa - Inland Fish - particularly like the duo with Sabu Toyozumi on the second side. Very Barre Phillips-like in approach, and worth a listen if you're interested in freer bassists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have I missed Fred Hopkins' name in this list?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just listened to Freddie Hubbard's Open Sesame and Sam Jones shines on this date. Sam Jones played on a lot of records and this one came through for me today. I'm sure that others may have their own favorite choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A seldom mentioned figure, probably because he died young, is George Tucker. Likewise, Charles Clark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Doug Watkins. The way he digs in on "Blues for Philly Joe" is, for me, the epitome of gutsy, swinging, big bottom bass playing. (I see that Paul Secor mentioned him above). But yes, you should check him out.

Edited by John Tapscott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have I missed Fred Hopkins' name in this list?

My absolute favorite of the late 70's, 80's & 90's for what he played with Air and especially those records with David Murray

One of the guys I really regret not being able to see live.

The day he died was the same day I walked into the Velvet Lounge for the first of two visits when it was on Indiana Avenue.

Ari Brown, among others, played that night and I'll never forget that Fred Anderson made sure in the midst of quite the snowstorm that my friend and I were able to get a taxi back to the hotel.

I knew what I already knew from hearing that sound on record that he was the real deal

Off topic - but my second time at the Velvet Lounge was with a friend who posts here - and got to see the great tenorman play at his home base

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have I missed Fred Hopkins' name in this list?

He is indeed another great player. I think the thing about lists like this is that there are so many great ones it's hard to choose/remember them all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cecil McBee (on that BN LP with Shorter, among other places)

Art Davis

Steve Davis (Coltrane Plays the Blues)

Wellman Braud

Adrian Rollini (it's a role, not an instrument, IMHO)

tuba player with the Dirty Dozen whose name I'm forgetting

Duck Dunn

James Jamerson

Tommy Cogbill

Bernie Odem (and charles Sheril and a bunch of other guys whose playing with James changed things)

Paul McCartney (as the Mono Beatles box makes totally clear)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody who played in Ellington's band.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oscar Pettiford, Paul Chambers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and Gary Peacock - Spiritual unity, but not just there

Johnny Dyani - everything of what little I've heard

Wilber Ware on Night at the Village Vanguard

Richard Davis on Van's Astral Weeks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael Henderson - with Miles, haven't heard him much elsewhere

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two excellent "walkers," of rather different sorts -- Peter Ind and Leroy Vinnegar. Ind also was a fine soloist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul Chambers not mentioned?

Peter Ind

Q

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.