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Best Bassist?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by aaabass, Dec 16, 1999.

  1. aaabass

    aaabass Guest

    I like edgar meyer myself - seems like the guy can do just about anything on the bass. I especially like his chamber music recordings with the Lincoln Center...
  2. R.C. Smith

    R.C. Smith

    Dec 17, 1999
    Ed, I guess that's why you never answered my "What is really jazz?" question. It seemed as though I was trying to get everyone to put something that is art into a acceptible package for society. The point of me starting that discussion and,I believe, the point that aaabass started this discussion is to generate a wide body of opinions to draw from. I don't think that he truly believes that there is one bassist who is the best,I feel that he really meant "favorite bassist." It's just about discussion and enlightening each other as to what we have experienced and what we feel. There are many players that we love, none better than the other, but we still have opinions on what and who we love.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Robert...in that case, I like everybody's playing but my own!

    Favorites? I can name a bunch of the "usual" players...Blanton, Chambers, MINGUS(*my* favorite),...here's a few that I'm currently diggin'(& they're alive!)
    Ben Allison
    Christian McBride
    Avashai Cohen
    John Lindberg
    ...and what's also "sad" is the fact that there are guys out there doin' it & I'll never get to check them out.
    BTW...I'm still mulling over your "What is real Jazz" question.
  4. R.C. Smith

    R.C. Smith

    Dec 17, 1999
    JimK, the jazz forum got restarted so I'm going to ask that question there. Maybe I'm beating a dead horse, but I think that it's a horse worth beating. I've been reading a book called Thinking In Jazz. In contains a lot of jazz history and the book is centered around the art of improvisation. Is improvisation what truly makes jazz? It would seem so but if a big band plays a written score note for note, does that then mean that it's not jazz? I usually see improvisation, swing, and group interaction in what I consider jazz. But there are artists in jazz in which these factors aren't dominant.
    Sorry, I'm way off the original topic. A couple of living upright players that I really like are Marc Johnson, Michael Moore, Peter Washington, Tim Lekan, NHOP, Charlie Haden, George Mraz, and Gary Karr. They are all great jazz players except Gary Karr, a classical master who's playing is beautiful. A few of the jazz cats I named do pretty well with the bow too.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Robert, I would say improvisation is a major, MAJOR component of "Jazz"...a lot of people do have an issue over something that's charted out, then being played "note-for-note", and calling it "Jazz". For those folks, I'm guessing anything that "swings" is close enough. Personally, I'm listening for an "attitude"...I want to hear the guys "going for it", interacting/conversing/playing "without a net", entering a realm that's not in their comfort zone,...I know that's a little abstract.
    Example: the LIVE version of Cream doing "Crossroads" is more "jazz"-like in attitude than much of what's being called "Jazz" today(I'm talking about a horn/guitar over sequenced rhythm tracks...where's the interaction?).
    Though electric, Tribal Tech is another group that has "attitude"...just my opinion.
  6. R.C. Smith

    R.C. Smith

    Dec 17, 1999
    JimK, I agree that the improvisational attitude IS what truly makes jazz. It's also the harmonic movement, rhythm, and timbre that seem to make the style reconizable. To me fusion isn't so much jazz as it is jazz influenced. It usually has a similar attitude towards improvisation and similar harmonic ideas but different ideas on rhythm and timbre. It's also probably my favorite style to play. When playing what I consider real jazz, I play the style(walking bass). Fusion lets me bring in my funk and rock influences as well as my jazz influence. It seems to be a style with no boundaries, a meaningless label.
    I don't really hear the kind of improvisational or experimental attitude in what is called smooth jazz. As I said before, most of it seems like instrumental pop to me. I think this is what you mean by "horn/guitar over sequenced rhythm tracks."

    [This message has been edited by R.C. Smith (edited December 20, 1999).]
  7. Talking about classical bassists.....I can appreciate the fact that Edgar Meyer can compose, and I think he is probably one of the greatest players alive, but I would just love it if he and Rabbath would release a recording of standard classical tunes like the Dragonetti, Bottesini, Koussevitzky, The Van Hal, and others. I think those pieces should be paid hommage. If it weren't for those composers, there wouldn't be solo double bass as we know it today.
  8. Bryan


    Dec 24, 1999
    Although I don't have a lot of knowledge of classical bassists one jazz bassist I've always loved is Charles Mingus. He seemed so original for his time, a great soloist, songwriter, pianist and he just attacked his bass.

    P.S any suggestions on great recordings with classical bassists would be appreciated
  9. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Two CD's that I have been listening to alot lately are Giovanni Bottesini, Music for the Double Bass and Piano Volume 1 with Joel "tuned in fifths" Quarrington and Andrew Burashko, and Double Bass Portraits with Jeff Bradetich on bass and his wife Judi on piano.

    Both Joel and Jeff are IMHO very expressive players.
  10. jeffwhite


    Jan 20, 2000
    If you think Joel's Bottesini CD is good, you should hear his new disc, Virtuoso Reality. It will blow your mind. He produced the most beautiful sound I could imagine. It's a little tricky to find in the States, since it's on the CBC lable, but no trickier than most solo bass CD's cdnow has it, and you can order it from almost any store.

  11. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Thanks Jeff, I'll be sure to get my hands on Joel's new CD.

    I'll let you know what I think.
  12. Galen McAllister

    Galen McAllister

    Feb 28, 2000
    "Best" bassists... but there are so many! Here are just a few of my favorites:
    Classical: Edgar Meyer, Gary Karr, Barry Green, Thomas Martin... and above all, Francois Rabbath, Murray Grodner, and Stuart Sankey. (why above all? practically anyone who's anyone today got there at least in part by studying with one or more of these guys...)

    Jazz on upright: Pattitucci, Renaud Garcia-Fons (check out his "Alborea" on the Enja label), Brian Bromberg (how often do you see someone carry an entire concert by himself? that's right, four strings means four-part harmony... amazing!), Arild Anderson, NHOP...

    And on electric: Jaco, of course; Bromberg; Brunel; Wooten; Pattitucci; Burbridge; Jeff Berlin... there are so many really good guys in this catagory!

    Rock/pop? well, let's face it - as much as I like the tunes, it's not the best arena for a bassist. Still, a few manage to stick out... Lee, Sting, and a particular obscure favorite of mine, Aimee Mann (tho' she's playing guitar more than bass these days - foo!)

    Lots of great music!... and if you're like most of us, who's the "all time best" to you will change daily according to your mood... but that's what keeps it interesting!
  13. bassman247


    Mar 20, 2000
    I am still new to the doublebass and I admit that I haven't heard that many different upright players, but the "bests" that I've heard are Stanely Clarke,(peronal favorite)Dave Holland, Ron Carter, and Charles Mingus. (Just thought I'd add something to this disscusion)
  14. angryb


    Apr 3, 2000
    I am the best
  15. Kouss


    Apr 11, 2000
    Well a some of my favorite Bassists are Striecher, Gary Karr, Robert Black, and Joel Quarrington. I found that Robert Black has an awesome contemporary style to double bass and his solo albums are awesome. He has brought a new range to the double bass. He uses a mixer with his bass and creates a "Electric" Double bass. His album "State of the Bass" is something worth checking out!
  16. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    Yasunori Kawahawa is one of the best soloists I've ever heard. Definitly in my top three. I just borrowed his CD from a friend and his sound and phrasing is probably the best I've ever heard in a recording of standard bass repetoire (Kouss, Bott, Gliere, ect). The CD I have is on the Largo label.

    [This message has been edited by Jake (edited May 02, 2000).]
  17. jake newman

    jake newman

    May 9, 2000
    Iwanted to respond to the question "what is jazz". For me it is broadly encapsulated in sharing a musical thought,feeling etc particularly with people who listen respond and seem to enjoy the interaction.
    I play with people who are hailed as jazz greats (in the rhythm section) who don't seem to hear or care that I'm there then i might do a local gig where the shared thoughts sets the ether on fire.
    which one is jazz?
  18. basserino


    Apr 28, 2000
    In all my years as a professional performing artist upon the bull-fiddle I have have heard many come and go and very few have impressed me. One name in particular however, never fails to amaze and inspire both me, my students and collegues. That name is Gerd Reinke. This true virtuosso's purity of intonation and subtle phrasing always leaves me breathless. His CD's are available through lemur music. 1-800-246-2277. The recording of solo double bass music titled "Kontrabass Solo" is especially tasty. Track number 9 is true example of an artist at work.

  19. grobinson1


    Jun 17, 2000
    Any one familiar with the Englishman Danny Thompson? I first heard him in the seventies in a band called Pentangle, and later with John Martin and other English folk artists. He always has a wonderful sustain, and he gets a wonderful "growl" on the E string. As far as What Is Jazz?, I agree with The Duke-- It Don't mean athing...And what about a sense of humour? Much contemporary jazz is so intense and/or idiosyncratic that if there is humour who gets the joke?
    Max George likes this.
  20. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Danny Thompson is indeed a fantastic player, in almost any style, from straight ahead jazz to drum 'n' bass (he played with Everything But The Girl)... If you get a chance to hear any of his solo albums, they are highly recommended - great tone, great chops and some fantastic composing. I'm sure that http://www.allmusic.com will have a listing of his solo recordings...

    He's recently been on tour with Richard Thompson (no relation), and if you've never seen anyone really ROCK on URB then that's the gig to see :oops:)


    Max George likes this.

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