From my perspective, an awful lot of bass teachers use the Jaco method as a basis (well, if you're gonna base it on somebody, he's not a bad choice, I guess) for lessons and Jaco was very clear in his interviews and instructional video that he preferred to play close to the bridge where the string tension is very tight. That's a big part of his tone and you'll see a lot of cats who just immediately go leaping for the bridge with their right hand. However, before that, many bass players played closer to the neck for a deeper tone. Control is a little tougher because the string is floppier there, but a lot of old school bass players use very heavy strings anyway (which produce a great tone). Playing softly close to the neck produces a very full tone (the harder you pick a string, the more mid range you will accentuate). It's when you start wailing up by the neck with light strings that you get a bunch of garbage. I don't like light strings anyway. I currently have a 1.15 low E string and things are suitably tense around the house.