Post #35: It's time for the bass-man...

Okay, it's time to discuss one of my favorite instruments. The bass guitar. Now, some of my omissions (mostly out of forgetfulness) on the guitar and drum posts have been pointed out to me, but I feel confident that I will get most of the biggies when it comes to bass guitar. Alas, I am sure I will forget one or two. As far as my music listening is concerned, it wasn't until the early 80's that I fell in love with the bass guitar. As ironic as it sounds, it was the New Romantic era of the New Wave movement that really got me into bass guitar. The bass slapping that was so prominent among bands like Kajagoogoo, Roxy Music and Heaven 17, is what really turned me onto the power of bass.

Fast forward to 1986, and my introduction to Level 42. Fast forward a few more years, to my introduction to LIVE Level 42, and I was bought and sold. Topping my list, is the one and only MARK KING. If you don't believe me, check out the album "A PHYSICAL PRESENCE", or any of the live videos. I would recommend "Live At Wembley", where you will see him sailing above the stage, suspended by a cable, legs cycling to and fro, while he is playing some of the most intense bass guitar you will ever hear. His nickname is Thunder Thumbs, and you will know why when you hear him.

Now, onto my others...

Coming in at number two, would be the one and only TONY LEVIN. Most famous for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, he has also appeared with many other artists, ranging from Sarah Mclachlan to The California Guitar Trio. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing him perform with the CGT at a local church. Tony branches out from traditional bass work by playing the bass "stick", which is prominent in his work. Another thing that sets him apart is in his using sticks attached to his fingers, to slap the strings. I have become an immense fan of Peter Gabriel's live material, and it is mainly because of Tony Levin.

I am sure I would get some angry comments if I failed to mention FLEA. April, you can relax. I'm sure he is probably at the top of YOUR list of bass players. He is the only bass player that can slap like an animal, whilst only wearing a tube sock. One sock, people. Figure it out. Apart from his great work with Red Hot Chili Peppers, you can also hear him work his magic on Young MC's, "Bust A Move". Sweeeeet.

I most DEFINITELY would receive angry comments if I were to leave off the legendary JACO PASTORIUS. Best known for his work with Weather Report (gee whiz, see what i am currently listening to!), as well as a successful solo career, this man was a true pioneer of the bass guitar. He pushed the bass in ways that few (if any) people did, before his time.

Another man for the list, and probably my third favorite bassist of all time: VICTOR WOOTEN. Once again, a man made famous for playing in another guy's band (Bela Fleck and The Flecktones), Victor has plenty of solo material that is worth investing. I recently checked a DVD out of the library, that featured some of the best drummers in the world. Included on this disc was a duet with Victor Wooten and Steve Smith (of Journey fame, on drums). Wow. That's all I can say.

Now, before you all start commenting on the fact that Charles Mingus is NOT on the list, I am talking bass GUITAR. Oh, and speaking of the good ol' bass guitar, I will close MY list with one more bassist...

STU HAMM. Although Stu was famous for playing bass for guitar legend Steve Vai, I first came across his music on one of his solo albums, Kings of Sleep. This guy is nothing short of phenomenal. Wow, just thinking of him reminded me of two other musicians left off of my previous lists. Drummer Gary Husband, and guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Shame on me. Sorry, now I'm just thinking out loud. Anyhow, that's my list of MY favorite bassists. If you have any you would like to mention, feel free to do so. Yeah, Mr. Klark Kent, John Entwistle. There, I saved you the trouble! ;-)

Whoo, a day later, I can still add another great bassist that I once again FORGOT! I should get my brain checked. Anyhow, Mr. STANLEY CLARKE. I thought of him when I first toyed with doing a list of bass players, and once again forgot when it came down to the post. Note to self: carry a note pad to write notes to self! Anyhow, another legendary Jazz bassist, who has worked with countless LEGENDARY musicians, both Jazz and Pop. He was also one of the three talented musicians that formed the great band, Animal Logic, featuring Stewart Copeland of The Police. Anyhow, he shall be added to the list. I hope you concur!

Now playing: Weather Report - Birdland
via FoxyTunes


Ray Dahl said…
Hey! What about Chris Squire. Yes know the astounding bassist with Yes. Who can deny the amazing rifts on "Tempus Fugit" or his "Amazing Grace" solo on 9012Live.

Yeah you missed one.
Uncle Zeke said…
Yeah, you are right, there. I get my mind set in this bass "slappin'" mode, and I forget the incredible genius of Chris Squire. And Geddy Lee, although he would still rank behind Squire. Oops, MY BAD!
Uncle Zeke said…
... but thinking about it. I don't know if Chris Squire should be "expelled" from the list, merely because of the hideous furry boots he wore during the "TALK" show in '94. "E" FASHION EMERGENCY!! Kidding, he still deserves a say. But the boots, man!!