Most talented bassist alive

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Mandude, Oct 17, 2000.

  1. Mandude


    Apr 19, 2000
    A friend of mine recently put forward that Les Claypool is the most talented bassist alive. I disagreed and before long the argument developed as to what criteria would define such a musician. Does he/she groove, is he fast, a good songwriter, does he know when to hold the low end and when to dazzle with a solo? These and dozens more. Anyway, I honestly can't settle on one above all. I'm interested to see who everyone else thinks exemplifies the qualities becoming of a bass player and why. Is there a "most talented bass player alive" or are there masters of the different disciplines?
  2. lordigg33


    Sep 19, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    im just gonna list my favs(in no particular order):

    les claypool
    paul mccartney
    jonas hellborg
    jaco pastorius
    mark king
    victor wooten
    bootsey collins

    well that pretty much does it for my favs.

  3. lordigg33


    Sep 19, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    oh yeah almost forgot stanley clarke. oops!

  4. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    you know, the most talented guy/gal is probably some unknown person that just plays at home and will never get any recognition. yeah, all the ones you named are killer bassists, but there is always someone better.
  5. Don't forget, though. He said most talented bassist ALIVE. That rules out Jaco, AND Paul McCartney. ;)

    Wooten, hands down.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Paul IS dead, huh? :D

    How come I don't see Gary Willis' name? Mankind's original post asked about GROOVE, COMPOSING, Soloing, "speed"(cough), & dazzling while holding the bottom...
  7. I vote for Christian McBride. I've never seen someone as talented on both upright and bass guitar.. walking, grooving, soloing, pizz, arco, what have you, he does it all with sheer virtuosity.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Do you guys know when you get to that level to where you feel confident about yourself, not necessarily that you're the best, just that you feel good about what you do...and you go and watch other bassists and you pick apart their performances, not because you think you're better, but just because you have a good understanding of the instrument, and what good technique or skill really is?...and then!!!, you randomly happen upon somebody who just BLOWS YOU AWAY!?

    I saw some kid play at a local bar on jam night. I swear to God, Jaco has been reincarnated. He was playing a 5-string fretless, and he absolutely OWNED that instrument! He made it SING!!! I don't know his name or story, but he is the most talented bassists I have ever seen live. Keep in mind I've seen a lot of big name acts, and he was hands down the best.

    Of course, it's terribly subjective, and everyone will say that. IMHO, I would have to say it is NOT Les Claypool or Sting! :)
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA



  10. Mandude


    Apr 19, 2000
    I can see the Christian Mcbride angle. The guys can do it all and yet still knows when to sit back and be a bare bones bass player. On an only slightly related note, I recently saw Sci-Fi, his latest album, on a display rack next to a bunch of pop acts, including n'sync. Wierd.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...yeah, that happened to me in about '75(here goes the same ol' story, again)-
    I'm 17 years old & full of S*** & thinking I'm a bad bass player. Anyway, me & my buds stumble into a HS dance on the Peninsula(in SE Va)& a the kid playing the bass BLEW ME AWAY! I could deal with an older guy being better...but a kid?! Anyway, the kid's name was Victor Wooten.
    By the time I got over that shock, Oteil Burbridge comes to town & joins my best friend's bar band...
  12. IncubusGuy


    Aug 11, 2000
    I cannot believe that none of you mentioned who I believe is the best bass player ever to LIVE. Michael Manring. You have to check some of his crap out if you haven't already. Like Monkey Businessmen. I'd like to hear anyone else alive or dead ever pull that off. It's freaking amazing. He can tap, slap, fingerstyle, or even play more than 1 bass at the same time. Check out Monkey Businessmen out on his CD Thonk if you ever get the chance. Later.
  13. I think the best bass players are Victor Wooten, Oteil Burbridge, Stanley Clarke, Flea, Sting, Paul McCartney (The replacement of the one who died in the car accident ;)), John Deacon, Family Man Barrett, Larry Graham, Bootsy, Paul Jackson, and the number one bassist of all time, John Turner :)
  14. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    You're all wrong. Dead wrong.

    I am the best bass player alive! No, I'm serious. Hey, stop laughing. =(
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I think it's a matter of opinion and if we're talking about the artist, philanthropist and classical composer, he's alive and doing very well in Scotland. But I think the bass player has long passed on!
  16. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    What about Geddy Lee not only is he a great songwriter but he sings plays taurus bass pedals and p[lays some monster bass at the same time. How about Billy Shehan he totaly reinvented the bass in the 80's. Will Lee, Stu Hamm, and the list goes on.
  17. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    The BEST bass player? That is SOOO subjective. However...I have to at least cast a vote for...

    Jack Bruce.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I must've been in a daze 'cause I totally missed that!
    Have you heard the Niacin discs?

  19. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    all the guys mentioned above are great, but i´d like to add one name...He´s icelandic but he recently played in NY.. Ingi S. Skúlason..You can check him out on
  20. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I couldn't argue with any of the guys named so far. Wooten, Manring, etc. However, the tip of the hat goes to Jack Bruce on electric and Christian McBride URB.