bass that really "sings"

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by mikeru, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. mikeru


    Jan 15, 2005
    I haven't heard a bass really sing a melody the way a sax or vocal or trumpet or a wailing guitar can... The stuff I've really been impressed by (not technically) is generally in its rhythym or its groove, more percussive than melodic, although I really dig Portrait of Tracy. I was wondering if someone could direct me to examples of a bass singing melodies sweet and dynamic like the aforementioned instruments sometimes do.

    I hope I'm making some sense... I do not have a huge collection of music but I really love like "Embraceable You" done by Charlie Parker or Cannonball Adderley's playing with Miles Davis... the closest I've heard on bass is Jaco playing "Bright Size Life".

    I guess I feel like I haven't heard bass that's just mindblowingly sweet and dynamic and melodic, and I wish to, since I love the bass.

  2. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Might check out Michael Dimin, or pick up the talkbass sampler and check out Bassius on there. I dont know if he has an album or website though. David Grossman has some really nice stuff if your into classical music. I assume being aware of Jaco your also aware of Stanley Clarke. If not, you might check into him as well.
  3. mikeru


    Jan 15, 2005
    I only listened to four two-minute samples which I'm sure doesn't do his work justice, but it doesn't quite do it for me in terms of the tone/vocalness of the lead parts. Cool stuff though. Thanks for the suggestions! I will see if I can find the others as well. Still searching...
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Marcus Miller is the ultimate combination of rhythm and melody.
  5. mikeru


    Jan 15, 2005
    What tracks/albums do you suggest? I must admit the only track I've listened to is a Portrait of Tracy tribute, which has a really cool slap solo in the middle of it which I love! But the melody sounds a bit too... mechanical? maybe? (probably not the word I'm looking for, but even in that track the sax lead is just significantly more... alive, warm, dynamic, beautiful)
  6. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I just picked up Miles Davis - Tutu, which is Marcus Miller on almost every instrument but Trumpet. He also produced the album. Be warned it was made in the 80's and has a lot of synth, but Marcus' arrangements and playing is top notch, not to mention the greatness of Miles :)
  7. Weather Report - A remark you made.
    Enough said.
  8. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Mark Egan on Pat Metheny's "Pat Metheny Group" the all white album. He carries the melody on several tunes and his tone is unreal. Mark's playing on Larry Coryells "tricycles" is incredible too, he can say an awful lot with one or two notes!
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    In addition to Jaco and Mark Egan, if you want really nice melodic (non-whacka-whacka-whacka) bass playing, check out any of these guys:

    Victor Bailey
    Jeff Berlin
    Richard Bona
    Brian Bromberg
    Laurence Cottle
    Jimmy Haslip
    Steve Lawson
    Michael Manring
    Pino Palladino
    Gary Willis
  10. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Also of note, that may or may not be what your looking for is Juan Nelson. He plays for Ben Harper. Here is an MP3 of a live song of theirs (no copyright issues):

    Ben Harper - Fight For Your Mind (live)

    I think he is one of the best at adding enough flare to keep it interesting while holding down a mean groove. Deffinantly very melodic. His playing actually reminds me of Marcus Miller, but a different sort of style.
  11. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    When I think of melodic bass playing, I think of Trip Wamsley. He does lots of Multi-tracking. So theres lots of Harmony. And the top track is usually very smooth and melodic. At least thats my impression of his latest album.

    There was a site where you could download his newest album for 5 bucks. I can't remember the link, but i'm sure its around here somewhere.
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Jimmy Haslip's "Galileo" from the Politics album.
    There's more by Haslip...that one just came to mind first.

    Oteil Burbridge also has some nice melodic things goin' on...there's 1 or 2 on his 1st solo album. "Song For Barrie"?
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Hmm, well, I have the Ozelli Tapes or whatever it's called (the offical bootleg), everything on there is great. I especially like their take on "So What."


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    JimK, you're on the mark!...

    Jimmy and Oteil are outstanding when it comes to creating melodies..too many tracks to mention, just pick up some YellowJackets or Peacemakers and try to keep up!
  15. waxlabltabler


    Aug 24, 2002
    I favor Jon Evans (of Tori Amos's band among many others). Check out his work on "To Venus And Back", as well as on "Scarlet's Walk". His other CDs are quite difficult to find.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Michael Manring fits your description best to my ears. Go to and listen to the samples from "Equilibre-Groovemasters part 6".