Great groove/jam-band bassists/recordings/albums/songs?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by misterk73, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    The drummer and guitarist I play with have me feeling like I need to up my "jam-band IQ." Problem is, most of what they recommend to me is of interest to them because of great guitar playing or drumming and it's almost always something by phu@#ing Phish. (Nothing against Phish, but they seem like such an obvious choice -- perhaps deservedly so.)

    So, fellow bass players, can anyone out there recommend anything/anyone within the groove and jam-band "genres" that I should pay particular attention to from a bass perspective? I'm open to any style, any era, as long as there's a good groove, solid songwriting, and a healthy dose of improvisation and/or instrumental work.

    The more specific you can be, the better. Thanks!
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The light Beyond - Frankie Gambale, Stu Hamm and steve smith

    Vital Tech Tones - Victor Wooten, Scott henderson and Steve Smith

    Most Medeski Martin & Wood stuff is great groove jam stuff

    also check out Les Claypool's side projects oysterhead and the fearless flying frog brigade
  3. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I second Medeski Martin and Wood. Great stuff but more upright than electric.

    Oteil Burbridge is a bassist of note on the jam band scene. He typically has sweet tone in any given recording and is a very tasteful bassist. For great chops check out his stuff with Col. Bruce Hampton and Aquarium Rescue Unit. Or if you want to hear him play on an album where he exhibits some SERIOUS tone then check out a group called Vida Blue. It's Oteil along w/ Paige McConnell of Phish and the drummer from the Funky Meters. Oteil doesn't go off much on that album but he has nice groove and huge, fat tone. (I'm not a Phish fan and I enjoy this one)

    Of course there's always Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Victor Wooten is their bassist and he's amazing. Get their album called "Live Art" and prepare to be stunned by the bass playing if you haven't heard it.

    I also enjoy Galactic and a band called Pepper Shaker (whose album can pretty much only be found at

    brad cook
  4. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    Aquarium Rescue Unit, now that was one amazing jamband
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I must say that is the most /'s I've seen in a subject EVER!
  6. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    It was either that or post like eight different threads. I'm all for wicked efficiency (except when I'm writing, in which case, as you may have noticed, things can get rather wordy and convoluted, which is neither here nor there except for the fact that -- aargh! . . . must . . . stop . . . now.)

    Oh, yeah: Thanks for the suggestions so far, folks. Keep 'em coming!
  7. slam

    slam Guest

    Mar 22, 2000
    Check out a band called Antibalas from NYC. Serious afrobeat grooves. Their album "Talkatif" is great.
  8. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I second Oteil and Aquarium Rescue Unit.

    Check out the Allmans, any era. I especially like Mr. Oakley.

    Phil Lesh with the Dead is really an eye opener on how you don't have to play the pocket and can toss out the one. His lines can leave you slack jawed.

    Medeski Martin and Wood is pretty boring from a bass perspective IMHO.
  9. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    In a heavier vein, Gov't Mule totally kicks! Either of their live albums are going to give you extended jams, often in a trio setting, with fantastic Allen Woody bass lines. Songs like "Trane" "Afro Blue" and "Mule" stretch it out real nice. Although primarily guitar based, it also includes lots of slide work, some keyboards and sax also.

    The Allman Brothers Band's 2 live discs from the early 90's have some good extended jams. In particular i like "Nobody Knows" which does a nice job of using dynamics.
  10. Well, I can't blame your mates for mentioning Phish - Mike Gordon is a tremendous jam-band, groovin', awesome player.

    Other than that, I concur about Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' album Live Art. You may also want to check out the band Liquid Soul, which is a little more jazzy, but Ricky Showalter's playing and groovin' are second to none.

    I think at this point you have plenty of recommendations to keep you busy for some time......

    Good luck, tell us how it shakes out....

  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You beat me on this one!
    The early Col. Bruce w/ Oteil is sweet!
    Vida Blue didn't float my boat as much...Oteil also played in a project called Frogwings(with other current/notable "jam band" guys).

    "No Egos Underwater", baby!
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I know what you mean. I wasn't a big fan of Vida Blue at first but after repeated listenings it really grew on me. No flash from Oteil really but the tone on this album is SO sweet IMO. Nice solid groove all the way through. I could do without Paige McConnell singing though. I've never cared for the voices of anyone from Phish.

    brad cook
  13. moe.! rob derhak is a very solid player, they got some great tunes. check out "timmy tucker", "meat", "happy hour hero", and "moth". i'd recommend, for an album of theirs, Warts And All volume one. it's a three-cd live recording. amazing!
    my jammer friend keeps mentioning some site or that you can download and listen to a bunch of stuff from a bunch of jam-bands at.
  14. also...jacob fred jazz odyssey. i think they fit the jam-band genre. they're really experimental, out-there jazzy stuff. drummer, keyboards, and bass (electric and upright). they are awesome.
  15. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    Yes! On their album "L." he has a couple spots where he shines (dont know the name of the song but the solo is super Wooten-ish)
  16. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I'll second the hell out of this and I am admittedly biased - Durhak and Mike Gordon are probably the two bassists whose techniques/styles I study the most.

    Durhak is just plain SICK! For my money, the best "jam band" (overused term) bassist going. As others have stated, check out "L", which is their first live one. Specifically, check out "Timmy Tucker->Recreational Chemistry", "Spine of a Dog->Buster", "Yodelittle" (which features some great synth bass work) and "Plane Crash".

    I've seen these guys live umpteen-leven times (and I'll be seeing them yet again on 2/8) and you owe it to yourself to do the same. Durhak and the boys will blow your mind live.
  17. i saw 'em twice (w/ claypool opening!) and i agree; everyone should go see them! they're incredible live, so full of energy! however, if you don't like hippies, ya might be apprehensive about attending.:D
  18. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Get the live from Bonnaroo Festival double disc or has a lot of the players listed above and some others that are outstanding Jam players. Oteil has a new solo disc due next week too:D Check out for downloads of other Jam bands also. The Bonnaroo is pretty cool tho;)
  19. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I'm going to have to level the scale here and say that moe is mediocre. I base this on a live performance several years ago at Shoreline Amphitheatre. To be fair, they may have improved or it may have been a bad night, but I do remember thinking they were a mediocre at best college circuit level jam band.
  20. iactually thought the same thing when i first heard them. but you really get into it after a while.