5 months ago

BassPlayer 2017-02

BassPlayer 2017-02


CS 100 GREATEST BASS PLAYERS recent reunion with Taylor. And the “producer switch,” a dummy toggle on his bass that speaks for itself. 32 34 36 38 Will Lee The quintessential Gotham bassist since 1971, Lee redefined support bass with a new level of stylistic versatility via his ability to shade the pocket in myriad ways and move seamlessly from finger-plucking to slapping, which he introduced to the studio scene. “Uncle Will” has played and recorded with everyone, invented late-night TV bass and the term “subhook,” sings his butt off, and is eternally hip. 33 Oscar Pettiford Just as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie created bebop language on their instruments, Oscar Pettiford (1922–1960) defined bebop on bass. He had a sleek walking style, precise in melodic choices and steady in tempo, with brilliant and complex solo lines. Pettiford penned several must-know bass standards, including “Tricotism,” “Bohemia After Dark,” and “Blues in the Closet.” 35 Tony Levin Whether he’s playing lines on a Chapman Stick, a tiny Guild Ashbory, or a 3-string bass, Levin’s innovations with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel have resulted in sounds never heard before. Perfect example: his strap-on wooden extensions called “funk fingers,” which evolved from drummer Jerry Marotta banging on Levin’s strings for Gabriel’s smash hit “Big Time” (1986). And, he’s played with a ton of other artists. 37 Louis Johnson A songwriter, session wiz, and funk bass-hero, “Thunder Thumbs” was an intense master whose earthy, sophisticated grooves changed history, most famously with the Brothers Johnson and on Michael Jackson’s Thriller (still the best-selling album ever). His grooves, played on P-Basses, Gibsons, Alembics, Trekers, and Music Man basses, left an imprint on pop culture that will never die. 39 Les Claypool No ’90s alt-rocker reimagined the bass more than Claypool with Primus, and on a fretless 6-string, no less. On “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” (1991), Les slaps, taps, and tritones his Carl Thompson bass to produce a frenetic whack-fest with a strong, slightly swinging 16th-note groove. Claypool got players asking, What on earth is he doing? And how can I do it, too? Aston “Family Man” Barrett What would reggae be without Bob Marley, and what would Marley’s music be without Family Man’s infectious, rock-solid bass melodies, most often played on Jazz Basses with flats? “I’ve played before Bob, with Bob, and after Bob, and along the way, I created a whole new concept of bass playing,” he said in 2007. “That’s just my thing. That’s my destiny.” Jimmie Blanton Without Blanton (1918–1942) there would be no Ray Brown, Oscar Pettiford, Ron Carter, or Dave Holland. The granddaddy of modern jazz bassists, Blanton played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra from ’39–’41. His features with Ellington on big band tunes like “Jack the Bear,” “Ko-Ko,” and “Sepia Panorama” brought the bass to the forefront of jazz. Nathan East Cracking the L.A. session scene in 1980, East has enjoyed a storybook career, thanks to his melodic grooves and innate musicality. Key associations include Eric Clapton, Quincy Jones, Phil Collins, Kenny Loggins, Whitney Houston, David Foster, and Daft Punk. East’s 26 years in Fourplay developed his singing and writing chops, leading to his acclaimed 2014 solo debut. 30 / february2017

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AviTrader MRO Magazine 2017-02
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