Are there still great session bassist out there?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by FugaziBomb, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    ... and not just tight, college taught musicians who can effortlessly sight read for modern county, pop, etc. I'm talking about in the vein of Lee Sklar or Carol Kaye - bassist who are brought in specifically to craft excellent basslines. Do players like this exist anymore?

    I don't see any TB threads about current, modern session players praised like Jamerson or Dunn, Kaye or Sklar. Is it just the state of the industry, or are these guys/gals still out there?
  2. ClusterFlux


    Apr 11, 2018
    Does Pino Palladino somehow not count?
  3. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    Abraham Laboriel
    Nathan East
    ….there's plenty more
  4. Do you mean “young-up-and-coming” players?
    I think the whole “superstar session muso” thing is over, really. Those old cats mainly rely on touring or writing for income now.
    Most sessions now happen in people’s bedrooms/home studios. Yes, even “proper” stuff. I’ve done a few over the last 20 years, especially for shows.
    Just my experience.

    Here’s John Pierce (he’s one of the great-barely-knowns) in action about 10 years back. From 3.50...
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  5. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Michael Rhodes is a monster session cat. Thundercat.
  6. mcrawfordmusic


    Dec 11, 2010
    Sean Hurley, Michael Rhodes, Ian Allison are a few that come to mind when I think of modern session players...
  7. Tim Lefebvre
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah um....

    First off, Sklar ain't dead. :D


    Michael Rhodes

    Nathan East

    Tim (last name is French and I can't spell it.) :D
    TonyRo, Ggaa, pjbassist and 6 others like this.
  9. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    Yeah, totally forgot about Pino.

    I think of those guys as solo bassists, despite their session credits.

    True that. I just went to see if he is still active and was blown away by how many credits he has.
    pjbassist likes this.
  10. Sharay Reed
  11. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    And one of the reasons we don't see too many new, up&coming names on the Who Are The First-Call Triple-Scale Session Bassists? list is because the guys who were on that list 30+ years ago are still on the list! Leland Sklar, Tony Levin, Nathan East, Jimmy Johnson, Will Lee, Michael Rhodes, Neil Stubenhaus... Those guys are still getting the calls when the producer or MD needs to know the job will get done professionally. (Will Lee tells a funny story about trying to break into the studio scene in the early 1970s and discovering that "Lee Sklar and Tony Levin already had every gig sewn up!")
  12. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    they are the college taught players.

    the industry has changed. but the players are out there, some could argue the standard of playing has gone way up.

    if you have a need for a bass player, lets say to play on a funk/R&B tune. lets say you only have $100. you know a handful of pro players in your area, but no bass players. you put the word out, you will get responses from so many people it's shocking. I don't think if you were offering the 1970 equivalent of $100 for the same job back then you would have found the same number of highly trained, capable, straight-up-awesome musicians.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Redding likes this.
  14. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    The cats who've been doing it the last 30-40 years are still doing it. The younger guys/gals aren't recording for major artists. Mostly their own projects. Nashville, NYC and LA are still the recording meccas.
    Indiana Mike, LBS-bass and Afc70 like this.
  15. Afc70

    Afc70 We’re only immortal for a limited time Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    Nashville is full of seasoned professional studio bass players, has been for decades
  16. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ********

    Dec 22, 2016
    James Genus
  17. CryingBass

    CryingBass Is that an Elephant Fish on the corner over there? Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    I sure hope Anthony Jackson is still doing it. Although he has probably already run out of stellar cats to play with :)
    2000TA46032, Alex Bass and Clark Dark like this.
  18. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    So, the answer is....yes.
    Clark Dark likes this.
  19. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
  20. OptimalOptimus


    Jan 4, 2019
    I wonder how many recording is done with session player to back a solo singer.

    What I don't like about those is, it could've been anyone and it wouldn't matter. I prefer a band doing it together instead of paying whomever is avalaible as long as there is a bass line.

    When I hear poopie like Gucci Gang I think it was made with computer than like Sklar.