Is it just me, or have bands with 2 bassists got more common?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Frank Martin, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    So, in the first two days of the Sziget festival, I saw two bands on the Jazz stage with two bassists...

    On the first day, there was the Péter Szendrőfi group with Gary Willis. On a few songs, there was a guest bassist, Gergő Mits, the bands original bassist, playing the groove while Gary soloed.

    Yesterday, there was the Krystof Scieransky trio and then the 9:30 Collective... which turned into a joint performance at some points. If you see this guy around, go and see him! They smoked. Funky, groovy acid jazz with nice soloes and nice playing. One of the best shows I've seen in some time. The 9:30 Collective also started very-very good, but unfortunately it went downhill from there... all the energy and groove stuck in the down-tempo swamp of synths and female vocals (there even was no bass on some songs...) it was a pity, as it started so well...

    So, are getting bands with more basists getting more frequent at other places, too?
  2. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    It's not an entirely new idea, a couple examples come to mind:

    1) When Stanley Clarke toured as a solo artist, from about the early 80's onward, he'd have a second bassist in tow to hold down the bottom end while he'd solo and play piccolo bass

    2) Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society had twin bassists, a groove player (Melvin Gibbs) and a lead bassist (The Reverend Bruce Johnson on fretless)
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I don't think so really, there's a long history of bands with two bass players. Just a few examples off the top my head:

    Ornette Coleman
    Pharoah Sanders
    Stanley Clarke
    Miles Davis
    Sun Ra
    Talking Heads
    Willie Nelson
    Willie Dixon
    Victor Wooten
    Every symphonic orchestra in the world :cool:
  4. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I don't think it's a new thing. But I do agree that it's getting more frequent in the more rock/pop world. Jazz and Classical have experimented with that setup for a couple of decades now.

    Fourhorse, The Dirtbombs and Black Eyes, are all rock groups that have two bassists. There are some other's that I'm sure I've forgotten. I have a feeling that there is some corroboration(sp?) between this and the increase in the number of guitar/drum duos. Both lineups seem to be the results of people making do with what works. If only you and your friend want to play together and you can't find a suitable bassist/guitarist to complete the trio, you just forget about it and continue on as a duo; similarly, if you and your 3 friends want to form a group, but they're all bassists then you go for it and find a way to make it work. No point in bringing in obnoxious 3rd, 4th, or 5th wheels that will mess up the group dynamic.
  5. same for Marcus Miller except that he doesn't play piccolo bass. i saw a local band a few months ago with two bassists but it don't remember their name.
  6. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    Anybody remember Hugo Largo?
  7. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    Good call, those guys were VERY uique to say the least, their first album "Drum" is something else!
  8. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I can't even find ONE bassist :(
  9. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    When we jam and have two bass players going, it gets called Hugo Largo, although I doubt most of the musicians even know why.

    I've done this on several occasions, sometimes it works well, sometimes not so well. But gee, it's like that playing with any other musician.... Last week some guys got together and we had the two-bass thing happening, went well enough that we're doing it again this week.

    And while we're on the subject, don't forget talkbass' own Mike Watt regularly plays duo bass with Kira, they call themselves Dos.
  10. so, since i'm in a horrible situation right now, i've got a singer, a drummer, and myself. i've been trying to get another bassist in just for the point of having two stringed instruments to not look so whacked when compared to the rest of the scene, but also to fill space during solos. what now