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Electric Bass Players who play great jazz

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by subfeeder, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. subfeeder

    subfeeder Guest

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    As a jazz player trying to give up the Double Bass in favour of the electric, thought it might be nice to get ideas on great jazz players on electric. Thinking straight-ahead jazz rather than fusion.
    How about Charles Ables for starters:



    Love the way he mainly plays roots.
  2. BigOldHarry

    BigOldHarry

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    Gary Willis
    Christian McBride
  3. VroomVroom

    VroomVroom

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    Jeff Andrews
    Lincoln Goines
    Anthony Jackson
    Reggie Hamilton
    Alain Caron (think Wayne Shorter, not so much his solo stuff)

    As is always the case, there are hundreds of others that I can't think of at the moment, but the names above were the first that came to mind given the parameters you mentioned.

    (edit) - Thanks for that Shirley Horn clip - that was awesome!
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Haven't heard Gary Willis play much straight ahead, and what I've heard from Christian, when he plays straight ahead he plays upright, when he plays funk/fusion, he plays electric. Which is kind of the way most doublers handle it (JP, James Genus etc.).

    Charles Ables sounds nice on ballads but, at least on those Shirley Horn records, I was never really convinced. Likewise Bob Cranshaw.

    I tell you who really sounds convincing playing straight ahead on electric - Chuck Sher. He used to play upright, but has had some hand problems and switched to electric; he sent me a recording of his group playing and he really cops the feel and space of DB function...
  5. GM60466

    GM60466

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  6. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest


    Yup, Chris Brubeck, +1,000,000,000,000!
  7. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73

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  8. Carver

    Carver Supporting Member

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    John Patitucci
    Stanley Clarke
    Mike Pope
    James Genus
  9. VJP

    VJP Supporting Member

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    Dave Carpenter (RIP). Check out the Lounge Art Ensemble with Erskine and Bob Sheppard.
  10. gnome01

    gnome01

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    For real early stuff check out Monk Montgomery on some of Wes' early recordings. If I remember correctly doesn't Ron Carter Play electric on the entire Red Clay (Freddie Hubbard) record? Also Dave Anderson, and of course who could forget Steve Swallow!!
  11. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73

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    Still sorry about Dave...

    :(
  12. flyman

    flyman Whoa!! Supporting Member

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    You guys ever heard of Steve Swallow?
  13. subfeeder

    subfeeder Guest

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    Great clip, stellar band!

    What about tracks/clips of electric bass playing in jazz walking bass groove/context?
  14. Kevin Woods

    Kevin Woods Supporting Member

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    What he said.

    Monk Montgomery worked very hard to warm up and jazz up the Fender Jazz bass. There is an old vinyl recording, "Wes, Buddy, and Monk" on Pacific Jazz (Pacifica?) with Monk on electric bass. This recording is Freddie Hubbard's first recording (He used to follow the Montgomery brothers around Indy). This is an excellent example of a Fender bass in a jazz context. It has been re-released on CD as "Fingerpickin'", so you guys can find it. As far as I see it, it is a must have for electric bassists. Remember, Monk is said to have been the first recorded jazz electric bassist, and he took the Fender out with Lionel Hampton in 1951, I think. The jazz bass sound that Monk has is not growling like a fretless, but it is a big sound, and a warm sound, and the feel is great.

    There is a great swinging performance from Steve Swallow on the Metheny/Scofield recording "I Can See Your House From Here". The tune is No Way Jose. Now that sucker swings. Check it out. He was playing upright with Roy Haynes in the sixties and decided to try electric out and then just stuck with it. I have heard people ripping on him because he is not some shredder, bass hero or whatever, but he is a true musician. And electric bass players have definitely benefited from the credibilty that Steve and Monk and others have established, so I think these guys deserve respect. My two cents.

    Dave King really sounds great, too. There are lots of others out there, too. The way I think about it is that it is mainly the feel that makes the whole thing work. I think there are two main groups: Those who try to make the electric sound more like an acoustic bass, and those who just play. Both types are fine with me. It is the feel that counts in my opinion.

    I heard a cut on WDCB here in the Chicago area, and there was this big band playing a very interesting modern arrangement with some swinging and some latin sections that had modern horn harmonies. The bass player was playing something that sounded like Chris Squire or Geddy on a Rickenbacker, but with a great feel. The cut was absolutely killin! Wish I could have gotten the name of that group...

    It's all about the human feeling that the player can put into it.
  15. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73

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    I'd say check out the CD on amazon or iTunes. I also believe the "b section" in that song has some good walking in it, however briefly. Glad you enjoyed the clip. Another good thing to check out is armed services jazz and variety bands. I do recall seeing bass players use electric while playing jazz, presumably for practical/logistics and bandstand size reasons. I know some of the bassists in those groups also play upright, but there is some electric jazz bass action there too.
  16. MysticMichael

    MysticMichael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    Steve Swallow
    Alain Caron
    Bunny Brunel

    MM
  17. crazyguy106

    crazyguy106

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    Abraham Laboriel
    Jeff Berlin (How can no one remember him!?)
    Matthew Garrison
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

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    I've had to give up DB as well. Just too many hand/arm issues. I do the best I can on electric, and judging by the list, I am not alone - on electric. Not saying I play anywhere near as well as these guys.

    If it's good enough for Shirley Horn...
  19. dmusic148

    dmusic148

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    The infamous 'Crazywabbit' perhaps? Hmm?
  20. shamus63

    shamus63

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    James Jamerson.

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