Your Favorite Fretless Electric Recordings

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Tapp, Oct 2, 2001.

  1. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    What are your favorite recordings with fretless electric being played. Now that I've got a Pedulla I need some inspiration. I've got some of Jaco's stuff, but what about Egan, Manring, Caron, etc??

    Watching my Eagle's "Hell Freezes Over" DVD: what a great fretless part on "New York Minute"!!

    thanks for all suggestions!

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Pino Palladino is very good with Paul Young or on numerous sessions, like with the Christians etc. etc.

    Mick Karn is an interesting player to listen to as he doesn't sound anything like other fretless players - with Japan, David Sylviain or solos albums.

    There are loads of others - Marcus Miller can play decent fretless and Christian McBride plays fretless electric sometimes.
    JimK likes this.
  3. Oysterman

    Oysterman Guest

    Mar 30, 2000
    You should give Manring's "Thonk" a go. Some truly great fretless work there!
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Pino Palladino, esp. on Give Blood (Pete Townshend's White City album)

    Percy Jones - Solo, Brand X

    Vic Wooten - Solo, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

    Sean Malone - Solo, Death, Cynic, Aghora, Gordian Knot

    More later
  5. Michael Manring's "Drastic Measures" is out of print, but if you can somehow get ahold of it or borrow it from someone, definitely do it. That's my favorite fretless stuff on record. "Thonk" and "The Book of Flame" are great, too.
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I second the vote for "Drastic Measures". Manring's a technical monster, but there's a lot of beautiful, lyrical fretless on this album in addition to the chopsfest. "Oyazumi Nasai" is one of the best duets I think I've heard in any genre of music.

    Tony Levin's "Waters of Eden" and Jimmy Haslip's "Red Heat" also come to mind as examples of good fretless playing. The Levin recording is sort of poppy-new agey, whereas Haslip's is in a Latin vein.

    If you want something less traditional, Tribal Tech's recordings are a good bet. Some of the improvisation is pretty out there, but Gary Willis can play up a storm on fretless.
  7. Jaco Pastorius - Continuum
    Pink Floyd - Hey You
    Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al
  8. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Breathing and Babushka by Kate Bush. (with John Giblin on bass)

    Also, I have a live record from Brand X, with Percy Jones...nice, really nice basswork, but the compositions aren't that great.
  9. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Don't forget 6 string fretless players like Steve Lawson and Steve Bailey. Lawson is very melodic. So is Mark Egan. My favourite fretless player is still Jaco.
  10. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    "Manifest Destiny" by Jamiroquai is a pretty one, too. Stu Zender plays a fretless Alembic on this one. Give it a listen, great tune to play as well.
    thabassmon likes this.
  11. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Manring's Drastic Measures.

    I also like Pino's work on Paul Young's Tear Your Playhouse Down.
  12. Ari Schor

    Ari Schor

    Mar 3, 2000
    that is such a great simple and melodic...i love it...

    also, is donna lee (JP) played on a fretless???
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  14. Ari Schor

    Ari Schor

    Mar 3, 2000
    thought so...

    I would also reccomend some tunes off Ten (Pearl Jam) Especially Even Flow, Alive and Oceans...and Rats off Versus...

    he may not be a virtuoso, but just listen to Oceans...the vocal melody was based on the bassline
  15. melvin

    melvin Guest

    Apr 28, 2001
    Try some Catch22, they sound pretty much like jazz except with punk lyrics. The bass player only uses a fretless
  16. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I'm with Bruce on this one. Here's a couple to look for.....
    Pino Palladino on Gary Numan's "I, Assassin"...and
    Mick Karn's 'Collector's Edition".
  17. Mick Karn, David Torn, Terry Bozzio, "Polytown"

    Jimmy Haslip, "Arc", as well as a whole bunch of the later Yellowjackets stuff, from about "Greenhouse" on

    Paul Simon, "Graceland," with Bakhiti Khumalo

    About anything Pino Palladino plays fretless on

    And I won't even get into Jaco, because that should be a given
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Almost any Rolling Stones studio album. Bill Wyman almost always played a fretless Framus in the studio.

    I got totally sick of that "hey I'm playing fretless" sound about a month after I got my first fretless bass.

    More guys who don't make it so obvious the frets are gone: Boz with Bad Company, Rick Danko with the Band, Sting with the Police.
    BlushResponse likes this.
  19. CtheOp


    Oct 11, 2001
    Toronto, Canada
    For me, the best fretless sound out there is found on Lou Reed's "New Sensations" album. The bassist is Fernando Saunders. Check out the sound on the title track and on "Turn to Me". The bass is featured on most of the songs and it's really tasty stuff.
    RHFusillo and NightCat like this.
  20. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    There are many fretless players with outstanding tunes. There is, of course, Alain Caron. There are, however, many more not-so-well-known bassists that are very gifted. If you click on my "Jazz Bass Plus" mp3 station below, you'll find the likes of Woody Lingle, who many may know of. Also on that station, look for the tune "Aldebaran" by Romlet (bassist Romolo Amici of Italy). And there are many more 'unknowns' that are superb bassists.