Recommended/essential fretless listening?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by bassteban, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. Hey guys(&/or gals)- I'm looking for suggestions for fretless bass recordings. I'll be buying a 6 string when I scare up the dough, so in the meantime I want to educate myself a bit on different voices. What do you like?
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Tony Franklin's work with "The Firm" is what gave me the fretless bug.
  3. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Anything with Steve DiGiorgio playing. He's insane, check out some of his stuff. Or go to


    EDIT: Not sure what kind of music you're into, so this may not be your bag.
  4. Jaco Pastorius - self titled debut
    YelloJackets - Four Corners, Politics, The Spin
    pretty much anything w/Pino Palladino
    Paul Simon - Graceland
    Matt Garrison (John McLaughlin)
  5. I was aware that The Firm's bassist was at least primarily fretless, but I have not heard(or heard of)DiGiorgio- of course, I don't get out much...
  6. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    PLUS 1 and Add Pat Metheny "Bright Sized Life" (Jaco) and "Pat Metheny Group" (Mark Egan)
    Mark Egan on those early Metheny Albums still gets the "best tone" I've ever heard a bass produce! He also did an excellent job on "tricycles" by Larry Coryell
  7. yes! I totally forgot about the Pat Metheny records. Also check out Richard Bona on Mike Stern's 'Voices'. Bona only plays on 3 or 4 tracks, but sings (!) and the stuff on the last tune on the record is sick.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Pete knows how I feel about Jimmy Haslip! :D
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Follow Pino Pallidino around... you'll hear some good stuff.

    New York Minute by Don Henley made me dig fretless.
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Check out Michael Manring's playing on Manring/Cullen: Groovemasters Vol. 6 -Equilibre. Manring has lots of great solo albums, but you can really hear him shine in a more typical bassist's role on this album, which is played entirely on fretless.
  11. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Also Bakithi Kumalo's playing on Paul Simon's "Graceland." Very fun, upbeat fretless playing. It's the definitive "great player using a cheap bass" sound for me :D
  12. I've seem Manring live- he is AWESOME. I appreciate being directed to what I think is exactly what I'm after. Bakithi K. is also incredible, but I don't like to admit such sweet sounds can come from a cheap bass(my wife is close to approving a custom 6! Shhh...). The truth is, I couldn't make the sweetest Pedulla sound like either of these guys in my wildest dreams. Anybody like Bunny Brunel?
  13. you should also check out steve lawson. i think he's an amazing bassist. nathan east's (i think it was nathan) fretless playing with eric clapton is also amazing. and you can never go wrong with tony levin and pino palladino. and david gilmour (yes, the pink floyd guy) also sings on a fretless.
    and then there are tons of fantastic mp3s of "unknown bands" i could send you, if you contact me.
  14. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Definately check out Steve DiGiorgio, at least his alter career work that is all fretless. Even if you don't like metal it cool to listen to because it uses fretless very effectively in a non traditional context. My two favorite Albums are Death's "Individual Thought Patterns" and Vintersorg's "Visons From the Spiral Generator". Extremely different bands but Steve rocks in both of them.

    Also Sean Malone of Cynic/Gordion Knot is pretty breathtaking, using fretless and chapman stick under some very technical, fusion influenced death/trash metal. There are some cool fretless passages on the 2nd and 3rd Opeth albums as well, though the basswork is primarily fretted.
  15. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Jonas Hellborg
    Percy Jones
    Richard Bona
    Mick Karn
    Tony Franklin
  16. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Also, 'Human' by Death has some excellent fretless work, and it's not buried in the mix either.

  17. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Richard Bona's solo albums feature sweet fretless grooves and chops.

    BTW, GARY WILLIS. His solo albums, or Illicit, Reality Check or Primal Tracks from Tribal Tech.

    EDIT> Almost forgot Michael Manring's work with Attention Deficit, great groove and solo fretless playing in a prog/fusion trio.
  18. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Here are some suggestions that might be a little off the radar but cool fretless work.

    One of my fave FL players is Andy Metcalfe who played with Robyn Hitchcock n' the Egyptians. Pick up Fegmania, Globe of Frogs and Queen Elvis. QE is my favorite for bass playing but all records are great, and Robyn also happens to be one of my favorite alltime singer/songwriters. Brilliant!

    Also, John Taylor plays some fretless on the Duran Duran Rio Album. Listen closely to Lonely in Your Nightmare and the Chauffer.

    Of course Pearl Jam's bass player Jeff Ament plays a fretless.

    Any of Pino Palladino's work with Neil Young is great.

    There was a Seattle-based band from the early 1990's called Sky Cries Mary. Great fretless playing on their EP and LP releases.

    The Lounge Lizards' bass player Erik Sanko does some amazing fretless work on all of their releases.
  19. Especially the obscure stuff.
  20. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Scott Bannevich plays some nice fretless stuff with Edwin McCain