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Best Jazz Bassists?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Michelin97Bass, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Hey there folks
    I was wondering in your honest opinions, who is the best bass player in jazz music? When I say best, it can be technically, or groovy, or whatever - who do you like in jazz ?
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There are a number of skill sets that any jazz musician has to be able to deal with at a very high level, the players whose work affects us most deeply are those who can speak that language in such a way that they touch on moments of both personal and universal beauty, but do so in a way that show the beauty of the language itself. It's not about "best", it's who is saying something to you, in that moment, that helps coalesce meaning from chaos.
  3. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Exactly. It's the difference between someone yelling, "Blah blah blah blah!" and someone saying something eloquent, at just the right moment (or framing someone else's statement so that it becomes intelligible).

    My personal favorites? Just off the top of my head: Oscar Pettiford, Ray Brown, Richard Davis, Israel Crosby, Ron Carter, Neils-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Dave Holland, Charlie Haden.
    Those are all double bassists. I suppose Steve Swallow is my favorite electric bassist who plays jazz.
  4. frisbieinstein


    Dec 29, 2007
    Paul Chambers for melody.

    Ron Carter, Charlie Haden for tone.

    Stanley Clarke for lines. Dave Holland for Conference of the Birds.

    Jaco you know already.

    Neils-Henning Orsted Pedersen has just about perfect intonation.

    There are a ton of good players nobody has ever heard of too.
  5. adambarringer


    Jan 14, 2014
    Jaco but lately Evan Marlien.
  6. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    My top two are Mingus and Miroslav Vituous. Mingus for pure, raw emotionally charged music, and Miroslav for always playing something unexpected.
  7. dbass87


    May 16, 2010
    I'm mainly thinking in terms of upright jazz bassists:

    Dave Holland: great upright tone, note choice and something about his rhythmic feel that I love as well

    Ron Carter: creativity in walking lines

    Christian McBride: great groove and monster at soloing

    Chris Minh Doky: awesome tone and intonation, very melodic in soloing

    Chris Wood: Not as technical as some but creates a great groove and plays with a lot of style

    Paul Chambers: not too flashy, but solid walking lines and interesting solos

    Eddie Gomez: love his work with Bill Evans, very different approach to bass, lots of fast ascending lines, interesting rhythmic ideas, seems to think outside the box

    Stanley Clarke: not the greatest tone on upright but still plays with his own style; really like his electric playing with Return to Forever
  8. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Speaking of intonation, George Mraz is ridiculously accurate.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...and his pianoless 5-tet...Holland & Billy Kilson/Nate Smith propel that group.

    "Not as technical"? I used to think that, too. Maybe on EB...on URB, he has mucho technique...a virtuoso, IMO.

    ...always liked Gomez, too (especially his Steps Ahead-era..."Pools", anyone?) Gomez' tone, though, is not really my cup o' tea. You definitely know it's him, though.

    Couple mote for the list-
    Ben Allison
    Arild Andersen
    ...both with new albums out.
  10. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    currently Christian McBride
  11. Afc70

    Afc70 Modern praise 4 The Ancient of Days! Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    Alain Caron, Gary Willis, Richard Bona are 3 of my favorites
  12. EZ9R


    Oct 28, 2008
    Jeff Berlin. Best Jazz Bass Guitarist.
  13. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Scott lefaro. Paul chambers. Eddie Gomez. Mingus. Ron Carter. Ray brown. Thats the oldschool.
    Jaco, mcBride, bromberg, marcus miller, thats the newer school.