Respect your elders

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Russy, May 10, 2003.

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  1. Hi there brothers of the world down under. I just made a interesting observation that the drummer I am playing with digs Marcus Miller a great deal, but when I played Jaco Pastorius he wasn’t that impressed. When I told him this is the world’s best bassist that ever lived he looked at me as if I was making a joke. Is it true with you that sometimes drummers and bassist do not appreciate the older cats as we should for their originality and contributions especially we younger ones. We tend to get caught in technique and star licks and not trying to find our own sound. When I started out Marcus was a great influence because that was all I was listening to and not knowing much about history of the bass I thought this guy has to be the best there is. To my surprise I found out that Larry Graham was the Godfather of the slap groove and everything made sense. Today I have a great respect for Jaco, Mingus, Ray Brown and Larry Graham, James Jamerson, Francis Rocco Prestia, Milt Hinton and of course Stanley Clarke. When I listen to guys like John Patituci, Vic Wooten, Nathan East, Marcus Miller and Jimmy Haslip among others I can there is a lot of similarities with the older bassist before them.
  2. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    This thread is probably a better fit in bassists.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  3. shyeah right! we all know that les claypool invented slap.
  4. As my Am. Gov. teacher would say. "ENNNNNH! No I'm afraid it's the legistlative branch that has the power to create the laws...take this down because this information might magically appear on the test sometime next week."

    Silly DHC, Flea invented slap.

    A lot of times the best aren't always the most impressive. Subtlety is a valuable, but underappreciated skill.
  5. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002

    I thought Al Gore invented slap.;) :p
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Lets keep this on topic please and keep the wise ass comments to ourselves....thank you.
  7. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    I reckon this has less to do with a lack of respect than just plain ol' taste. I just don't like any of Jaco's bassplaying, technically great but it just don't speak to me.

    PS. these are not the views of some F**ldy or Fle* wannabe.
  8. Jaco is very much a bass player's bass player kind of bass player.

    Being a bass player, you should know that.
  9. I think Weather Report turns a lot of people off to Jaco. If you're trying to hip somebody to Jaco for the first time, and you play them Black Market , they're going to be, "like, huh?" It just sound so dated.
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Could not agree less. IMO Weather Report was recognizably a band that came out of a certain time abd cultural milieu, but that's not at all the same thing as being dated. (If it were, Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk and the Beatles would be dated too, and to me they're clearly not.) Any music as fierce and strong as the best of Weather Report was is never dated. To me Weather Report was the best of Jaco's work, better than what he did on his own or with Joni Mitchell.

    Mileage varies of course, but that's my $0.02.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    As much as I loved WR, some of those synth patches do indeed sound dated.
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the bassists i like the most are contemporary with, or predate, jaco.

    liking and respect are two different things. i don't think jaco was the best bassist ever, nor do i think he was even the best fretless player ever, but i certainly have a great deal of respect and admiration for what he did.

    as for getting caught up in "star licks", frankly i think that happens a lot amongst the clergy of the church of jaco too.
  13. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK

  14. Isn't it all about taste?
    I am not that impressed by Jaco either. Ofcourse he was different back then, he was the fresh wind blowing through the world of jazz etc. and ofcourse I think he is a good player, but he doesn't do the trick for me.
    I prefer a Marcus Miller over him, even a Phylipp Bynoe is more to my taste than Jaco.
    I respect Jaco a lot ofcourse, but he ain't my favorite.
  15. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Hmm. I disagree.

    It wasnt purely the fact that he played bass unlike anyone at the time. It was also the fact that he has absolutely an incredible feel, a voice like no one elses.
    Alot of his material isn't flash by todays standards in terms of technique (and a lot is!), but playing it with the same emphasis as Jaco, with the emotion is something else.

    Not many bassist have that, and IMO Marcus Miller doesnt either. He is fantastic, but his music is just one big bass solo really. The guy slaps nearly every melody! Fine for about half an album, but he's not what I'd call a great bassist - he's too rooted in that one tinny slap vibe for my liking.

    Dont get me wrong I think Marcus Miler is amazing, but his music is too 'written around the bassline' and his basslines too 'written around the bass' for my liking.

    Now, Christian McBruide is one technically flash player who has some truly amazing feel.
  16. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Lets not turn this into a "best bassist" thread.

    We should respect the elders who laid the foundation by using what they built to create something new and better. Worship jaco if you like, he surely deserves praise for what he did but lets not forgett the people who have taken things further and evolved what jaco did.

    I'm not a fan of Marcus Miller though, I think that poeple like Gary Willis and Jeff Berlins are the true masters of todays bassplaying.
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    No, please let's ;)

    Personally, I think "respect your elders" is a completely antiquated notion.

    How is living a long time worthy of respect?!

    Surely it is more important whether someone old has learnt from their years, than how many they've actually clocked up?

    ..but that's speaking in general..

    In terms of "respecting my elder bass players" - I dont think it's really a question of 'respecting' them...

    Adam Clayton is older than me.

    I mean if you want to ignore all the brilliant bass playing from the past then you do so at your own risk.
    Listening to other peoples music is probably the single biggest source of inspiration to all musicians... if a young bass player chooses to ignore 'the greats' then all they'll do is miss out.

    ... the other point here is "what makes a great bass player" and "what makes a great bass part"

    I mean Pappa was a rolling stone ha a two note bass line that fits the song like a glove - I my mind that is more worthy of respect than some 8 minute "check out my chops solo" from Marcus Miller. Regardless of the technique required it makes a great song, is anything more important speaking as a musician in a group?
  18. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    You are venturing into topics that easily becomes opinion vs. opinion. If you like a simple bassline better than an advanced one then sure the simple one is better in your view. All this is obvious but I think that the important thing here to remember is that we should never use this as an excuse not to become skilled bassplayers(I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here but I sometimes get the impression that some use thing excuse) , sure simple basslines can be good but if you hand Pappa was a rolling stone to a player like Sean Malone then I'm 100% sure that he would make a bassline better than the original just because he have so much more ability to create basslines, technically hard or not.

    And age is not something that automatically makes someone respectable. This much is obvious.
  19. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Well no I dont specifically, not at all, but I do think that many 'advanced' bass lines are over complicated and I think it's fair to say that less thought has gone into each note in many (not all) cases.
    Of course I want to hear someone rip out some awesome bass playing, but at the same a good groove can be underpinned by just one note and although it clearly takes less technial skill to play a one note line, it often shows a great appreciation of the whole piece.

    "we should never use this as an excuse not to become skilled bassplayers"

    I completely and utterly agree, however, for example...

    I have one Marcus Miller album - the Ozell tapes - and while it has some awesome bass playing on it - really truly amazing - I think in a lot of places he's just playing fast for the sake of it. Some of the solo's for example.

    Now I could spend my life trying to play like that, but I believe there are many more musical things I can do with my time.
    That is, Marcus Miller LEADS a band with bass!! How many players could get and maintain a gig like that? There simpley isnt all that much call for a lead bassist.

    Hmm, I cant imagine anyone could make this bassline better by adding to it. It doesnt work that way really does it.

    Who is Sean Malone? I thought he was the guy from Cheers? ;)

    Could 'Another One Bites The Dust' be made better by adding to it?
    Absolutely, undeniabley, totally NOT!!!
  20. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Agreed, without reservation. But so do some of the sounds on other great older records (like the guitar sounds on some '60s records), to me anyway. When you look at the whole enchilada, a little bit of cheese doesn't have to ruin the whole thing!

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