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Mark King

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by lethifold, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    Best slap bassist ever?

    Listen to Level 42- Bass Solo (Track 9- Live at the Jazz Cafe)

    Discuss :)
  2. man, that's such an opinion thing. I love slap and there are so many cats I love for different reasons. don't know that there's one I think of as best...

  3. As far as slapping goes, my favorite is Alain Caron. It's the most musical I've ever heard.
  4. here are some of my favorites other than King and Caron, in no particular order:

    - Larry Graham, Jr. (the originator)
    - Louis Johnson (just plain vicious!)
    - Nick Beggs (pop giant)
    - Gary Grainger (whew! no other words)
    - Laurence Cottle (tasty)
    - Steuart Liebig (a master musician)
    - Roberto Vally (slick and elegant)
    - Jonas Hellbog (wild!)
    - Gregory Bruce Campbell ( :eek: :eek: :eek: )
    - Marcus Miller (note perfect every time)
    - Curtis Robinson, Jr. (nasty!!)
    - Bill "the Buddha" Dickens (faster than a machine gun)
    - Vic Wooten (already has "w00t" in his name)

    now, don't get me wrong. I own more Mark King than you'd believe. I wore out 3 copies of Level 42's first concert video. he's a monster and one of my big influences, but he's not the only one to check out.

    have you heard Chuck Rainey's slap? how about Jauqo III-X? killers!

    remember: don't close your ears any more than you should close your mind!

    from the lows,


  5. well said Stew!

    I alway think of Mark White of Spin Doctors fame when someone says "Best Slap Bassist"... his playing touched my influence at the right time I guess.

    but there is no "Best" can't ever be.... Favorite for sure, not best.

    How do you measure art?
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I'll second the Mark White post, I kinda cast the Spin Doctors aside as a cheesy 90s Alt band, but I bought turn it upside down in the discount bin. Fantastic bass playing. His slap reminds me of Marcus Miller, due to tone and clairty and feel, and to be doing this stuff to pop songs is just fantastic. The songs are still a bit much for me, but every now and then I give it a spin and the bass playing is amazes me every time.

    I'm not saying he's the best, but I'm by no means calling Mark King the best either. He's got very little groove to him, I own a couple Level vinyls, and a best of on CD. I'm starting to dig the music, but I would describe it as Funk/Jazz with very little groove. But then again, I'm not English.
  7. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    Heh, exactly what I was hoping for (a list of other good slap bassists)

    I think Mark King is my favourite and probably technically the best that I have heard. In most Level 42 songs his slap technique isn't used as well as it could be, so people don't think he is so great. But listen to his solos and you will soon be amazed

    How do you measure art? Personal preference :p
  8. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I've also heard the solo you speak of. Seems to be more flashy chops than musical. It's cool though.

    I don't know much about Level 42, but do all of their songs have a Keyboard bassline going w/the real bass?
  9. maverick


    Mar 8, 2005
    London England
    saw level 42 live years ago. mark king was bloody fantastic!
  10. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    I'm with Bernie 110% on this one. Alain's playing is so much more interesting to listen to, and so far removed from being cliche. :cool:
  11. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Gary Denyer's site (gazzbass.com?) has some studies and instruction on Mark King's work. Cool site, opened my eyes to some interesting territory. :)
  12. bill_banwell


    Oct 19, 2002
    Mark kings slap sound is crisp! IMO hes not the best bassist ever, he has a cool style though, musically and rhythm wise i think victor wooten is pretty ahead of the game on slap, bill the buddha dickens is fast, but i dont find anything musically interesting in his technique.
  13. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I like Mark, but there are so many others that I like better. Most were mentioned here, and I won't repeat them, but nobody mentioned

    Stanley Clarke

    Can't forget Stanley!


  14. FR5


    Feb 12, 2004
    I'm not much of a slap bassist (being a fretless player), but I have always enjoyed Mark King's playing, very punchy, grooving and musical (I dig his "finger stuff" too), and his song writing skills. But in the last years he sort of drifted out of my playlist.

    But last year, at the European Bass Day in Germany, I was completely blown away by a Polish phenomenon called Wojtek Pilichowski. This guy is like a super-charged Mark King, a slap monster who can be seen as the reincarnation of Mark. And he admits to this himself, at times putting Mark King signature licks in his songs. However, he is no bland copycat, this guy is a high strung original version

    If you have a chance to get ahold of his music check it out, you will be amazed.

    Greets, steven
  15. Ok - this is pointless - there is no BEST, just different. It all depends on your musical taste - that's it.
  16. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    exactly mike!

    ... granted that track 9 is hip! I love how crazy MK gets and then signals the band to hop on in!
  17. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    He slaps great.
    But what about his ability to sing and play at the same time?
  18. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I know it is like he is on auto-pilot or something.
  19. What I don't get about it is you use the term "best slapper." What does that mean? The fastest slapper?

    Personally my favorite slap bass players are Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller. Marcus Miller doesn't play very much fast stuff, but he plays so groovily and with so much soul.
  20. I think Mr King would take offense to being called a slapper - it means something quite derogatory in the UK. :p

    BTW - what is he doing these days? I haven't heard much from him for about ten years or so. We get left behind here in Oz....
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