The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99902   Message #2000277
Posted By: Lonesome EJ
18-Mar-07 - 01:02 PM
Thread Name: Opinions of Bass Players.
Subject: RE: Opinions of Bass Players.
There are two schools of bass playing: First, the down-in-the-groove bass guys who stick to the basic rhythm line, like Bill Wyman and Mitch Mitchell. Second, the bass soloists, who take the bass out front as an individual sound within the band, like Jack Bruce and Flea. Both groups have their champs, but I'll tell you one thing. Bands with a soloist bass player had better have a rock-steady drummer, rhythm guitar, or both to avoid total confusion.
Here are my ten favorites of both schools

Mark Andes...pioneering rhythmic bass work with Spirit.
Jack Bruce...his bass became competition for Clapton, forcing Clapton to take some chances he no longer takes. There was also the constant possibility of chaos, as Ginger Baker was also a soloist drummer.
Paul McCartney...Really walked the line between rhythm and solo bass playing, but was a great innovator while always keeping the melody propelled.
Jack Cassidy...his relationship with Jorma Kaukonen in Jefferson Airplane was similar to the Bruce-Clapton dynamic. Cassidy always had just a relentless drive in his playing.
Phil Lesh... a tendency for over-the-edge experimentation to the point that his bass sounds often like some other instrument. Still, terrific and unique.
Kenny Gradney...Little Feat's bass player had a groove second to none, always solid and in the pocket.
Flea...very innovative and rhythmic at the same time. At times his bass sounds trebly like a lead guitar, but without sacrificing the bottom somehow.
John Entwistle...the King of the solo bassists, the perfect counterpart to Townshend and Moon.
Jim Boquist...the original bass player for Jay Farrar and Son Volt always kept the band's sound cemented together, and is as versatile as they come, comfortable with everything from playing a country shuffle to a driving riff.
and finally, Brian Ferry...yes, I know he's not even a bass player, but Roxy Music had the most consistent and effective bass lines in their songs of almost any band, and they used numerous bass players. With Ferry's domination of the group, I have to figure they were coming from him.