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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

    Aug 9, 2007
    London, UK
    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


    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Gary Willis
    Christian McBride
  3. 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

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    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...
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  5. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
  6. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

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


    May 5, 2008
  8. Carver

    Carver Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    North Mississippi
    John Patitucci
    Stanley Clarke
    Mike Pope
    James Genus
  9. VJP

    VJP Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Dave Carpenter (RIP). Check out the Lounge Art Ensemble with Erskine and Bob Sheppard.
  10. gnome01


    Oct 30, 2001
    Bronx NY, USA
    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


    May 5, 2008
    Still sorry about Dave...

  12. flyman

    flyman Whoa!!

    Aug 2, 2005
    cincinnati, ohio
    You guys ever heard of Steve Swallow?
  13. subfeeder

    subfeeder Guest

    Aug 9, 2007
    London, UK
    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

    Apr 5, 2008
    Chicago, USA
    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


    May 5, 2008
    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. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Steve Swallow
    Alain Caron
    Bunny Brunel

  17. crazyguy106


    Dec 3, 2007
    Abraham Laboriel
    Jeff Berlin (How can no one remember him!?)
    Matthew Garrison
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    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. The infamous 'Crazywabbit' perhaps? Hmm?
  20. shamus63


    Dec 17, 2005
    San Mateo, CA
    James Jamerson.