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Old April 17th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Most influential bass players?

I was listening to some old Mowtown stuff today and it got me thinking that James Jamerson might be the most influential and important bass player in the history of popular music, followed closely by Paul McCartney and Duck Dunn. Seems to me that nearly all bass playing since then can be traced directly to one of these three.

What do you guys think?

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Old April 17th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that Paul was more influential than Jamerson, but not by much. I think Jaco would be the third most influential.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tim Drummond is no slouch either......

ask Jim Keltner
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Old April 17th, 2006, 10:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know a heck of a lot of "modern" bassists (not my style at all, but I can dig others doing it) whov'e been deeply influenced by Victor Wooten...

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Old April 17th, 2006, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with the Jamerson selection. The one bass player, however, whom I liked and still think highly of (although I doubt he could be considered influential) is Jack Casady. I had never seen chords played like that on a bass. I am still amazed when I listen to Crown of Creation and some of that stuff.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Stanley and Jaco

To me, Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius each defined a new way of playing. Victor Wootten seems to be taking up where Stanley left off - although he is obviously influenced by Jaco as well.

Both Stanley and Jaco were at the forefront of turning the bass from a backing rhythm instrument into a melody instrument.

I'm not a bassist so all this is from a listener's perspective.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Stanley and Jaco

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Originally Posted by Robin Nahum
Both Stanley and Jaco were at the forefront of turning the bass from a backing rhythm instrument into a melody instrument.
I've never quite decided if they should be commended for that, or castigated.

:)


More bassists who played on a lot of hit records and may have influenced a lot of bassists were Carol Kaye and Joe Osborne. Chris Squire was also influential for a time, and introduced a new style for the instrument. Oh, and Larry Graham was the forerunner of Funk bass.

But everyone listed in this thread so far was influenced by James Jamerson in some way or another.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Charles Mingus?

8)
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe not THE most influential but certainly amongst rock bass players - John Entwistle inspired a lot of people.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Whoever turned the bass into a lead instrument was the greatest. I'm thinking of the style of bass playing in southern rock of Berry Oakey (Allman Brothers Band), Tommy Caldwell (Marshall Tucker Band), and the several bass players in Charles Daniels Band and the Outlaws.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:41 PM   #11 (permalink)

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Entwistle's not one I thought of, and I suppose John Paul Jones should be listed as influential to rock players a generation later too.

And while Clarke, Wooten, and Pastorious are amazing musicians, I don't think I'd list them as being particularly influential, except to a small sphere of other bass-player whiz kids. I'd judge their talent as similar to Gatton's on guitar. Most musicians can appreciate the technical merit, some can even play on that level, but the influence is confined to a very small group of people.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Jimmy Blanton (Duke Ellington)
Scott LaFaro (Bill Evans)
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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For my money, these are the most influential electric bassists. Everyone else seems to be doing some variation on the foundations that these bassists laid.

James Jamerson (and Carol Kaye)
Paul McCartney
Jack Bruce
Duck Dunn
Larry Graham
Jaco Pastorius
Stanley Clarke
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Old April 18th, 2006, 02:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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how about

Bootsy Collins for his work with James Brown and Parliment/Funakdelic.

Larry Graham, Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter among others.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 02:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Carol Kaye, Ray Pohlman, Joe Osborne, David Hood, Jerry Jammott, James Jamerson, Duck Dunn.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 05:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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As a younger member here I would add Tony Levin, cos he's great and for the sheer mass of music he has played on. His site Papabear has the full list, scary.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 06:05 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Lotta great names here.
Dunno about MOST influential but there a many big names that will say they were inspired by Tommy Cogbill.
Funky Broadway, Son of a Preacherman, Natural Woman, Chain of Fools, Do Right Woman, Respect, I Never Loved a Man - most of Aretha big hits. Pocket and melody at the same time, just beautiful.
Let us not forget Rocco Prestia or Chuck Rainey.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 06:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Old April 18th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Stanley and Jaco

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Nahum
Both Stanley and Jaco were at the forefront of turning the bass from a backing rhythm instrument into a melody instrument.
I've never quite decided if they should be commended for that, or castigated.
I vote "castigated..."
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Old April 18th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I recall reading that Jet Harris, from Cliff Richard's backing band The Shadows, had the first electric bass in the UK. Just as Hank influenced guitarists, so Jet is creited with being at the forefront of bass playing, and would have influenced other bass players.
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