The Best Bassist?


New member
in no particular order:

Fieldy (Korn) - He took fleas slapping technique to the next level and created a signature sound that korn would be lost without.

Bassist from Mudvayne - Watch their videos and you will see why.

Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) - no explanation needed


New member
Sr. Regulator
A bassist in a really tight Power-Trio really has to put out a lot of music-- nowhere to hide, you know. For that reason, Chris Novalselic of Nirvana deserves a place in the conversation.

At a former job, I knew a bassist who circulated about the SE Pennsylvania bar-scene.
He put in a word for Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers.

John Watt

Active member
The two craziest experiences I've had with bassists both happened in Buffalo.
Seeing Rick James without knowing what was happening was very exciting.
His snapping and thumb-popping was something new, carrying everyone away.
You knew you were in the presence of something that was going to take off.
Rick James was so hot I even had thoughts about wanting to be his agent.

Jaco Pastorius, playing in Weather Report, his stage show, his playing..


New member
First for me it was
Jack Bruce
then I quickly went through
Chris Squire [Fish out of Water],
John Wetton,
Gary Thain,
Stanley Clarke,
Michael Manring,
John Paul Jones,
Eberhard Weber
but one guy stands out above them all...:
Jaco Pastorius
who I saw four or five times - complete bass player, musician and performer.

White Knight

Spectral Warrior con passion
What about Stanley Clarke, who bridges jazz and rock genres? Could/should he be considered as well? Just wondering--or wandering. :rolleyes:


New member
Undoubtedly Stanley Clarke is a genius of the bass. I find he relies too much on pure technique - his sounds are often hard and percussive - in fact he probably invented the slap style on the bass guitar!

John Watt

Active member
I just bought a "jazz sampler" CD at a gas bar for $1.
It started with older stuff, but had "Birdland" by Jaco, as done by Weather Report.

When I saw Weather Report at Kleinhan's in Buffalo, the band was feuding.
Joe Zawinul wouldn't talk with Wayne Shorter, and even the press bar and buffet was closed.
Joe and Wayner would play the theme or the intro, and walk offstage,
coming back to end the song.

In between, was usually ten to fifteen minutes of Jaco Pastorius,
playing bass, going in front of and between the two drummers,
and leaning out over the audience and waving his bass around.

He's the one musician I think of who could have worked beside Jimi Hendrix.

Ritchie Blackmore gets a lot of attention because he was one of the first,
to use a Fender Stratocaster and Marshall onstage, with no effects,
being a guitar teacher at the music store that James Marshall owned.

Roger Glover, Deep Purple's bassist, originated most of the template for arena rock,
which can be heard by listening to their first album,
and then their second with a new singer, Ian Gillan.

Uh, oh yeah, who had the first top ten hit single on the Billboard charts,
that didn't have any bass guitar?

Seeing Stanley Clarke comments, he was doing it all on electric bass,
and then he decided to be a lead guitarist without the pressure of holding a Strat,
and got a piccolo custom bass, and became pick-a-load with all that.
Have you ever heard the Stanley Clarke/Jeff Beck album?

I wish I had a dollar for every James Jamerson song I heard.
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John Watt

Active member
Yeah, I'm seeing my name here too much, so I'm just adding where it is already,
and I've been thinking about bass and bassists, so here's my best bass experience.

When I saw McCoy Tyner in 1977, his "Atlantis" tour, the band was wearing dashikis, with afros,
but the bassist was playing a Fender electric through an amplifier onstage, almost in front of me.
When I saw McCoy Tyner standing at the end of the bar, pouring himself some orange juice, alone,
I went over and we ended up talking until he had to go back onstage, a very, very good night.

Going to St. Catharines for sign business, early 90's, I stopped in at The Club, a new effort by local musicians and artists.
A recording artist was behind the bar with Club supporters, discussing their business.
At the end of the bar, sitting all alone, with this man wearing what had to be a shiny green, silk suit,
looking fabulous, really, almost ethereal. I went over to say hi and sit beside him, wanting a pop.
As we got talking I said I recognize you, you played with McCoy Tyner in Toronto.
He wasn't coming out at me, so I described his bass and the amp and where he was standing.
He looked into me, and finally said you're right, my upright was stolen at the airport.
We got talking.

When I could see Club supporters were finishing their meeting, I stood up, and said,
it's hard to believe, but this man is one of the top five bassists in the entire world.
I saw him play with the best band I ever heard, McCoy Tyner's touring band for Atlantis.
My friends looked at me, like what, shaking their heads, but I said I'm serious, very serious.
A month later this bassist, Juni Booth, gave a sold-out solo performance in a loft down the street.
I paid to be there.

Maybe the next year, I got a phone call from Juni Booth, in Buffalo visiting a relative.
He said if I could pick him up and take him to Toronto for the DuMaurier Jazz Festival,
I could hang out with him as a signed in guest. I borrowed a new car from a friend.
As soon as we parked and stood on the sidewalk, a long Mercedes pulled over, saying get in.
It was one of the most famous jazz sax players and his band, doing a few puffs of weed.
It turned out they were the headliners, and had the best buffet.
Later on, in the executive lounge with organizers and entertainers, ow, it still hurts,
I was asked twice to jam along on guitar, but they were right-handed, and believe it or not,
I didn't even think about bringing my guitar. I still don't regret it.

There was a small crowd of jazz wannabes in St. Catharines who played in wedding bands,
polka bands, any band, or doing a gig using one of their names as self-promotion.
They never liked me, from Welland, so I stopped going to St. Catharines musician things.
There I was, walking on the other side of the velvet rope, with the headliners,
and these St. Catharines musicians were there in all their leather and lace clad glory.
They even waved at me, and one of them came over, so I was polite.

I learned circular breathing, letting you blow a non-stop note as long as you want.
I still press the palm of my hand to my mouth to practice that, and show off on harmonicas.
If you have trouble snorkeling, you probably can't do that.

When Juni was doing his first solo performance, he would gradually disappear behind his bass,
and all you could see was his hands, and then he'd stick his face out or something, very effective.
Seeing an upright bassist with that level of technique,
made me think his hands were like an auto body worker, very strong, very tough and thick skinned,
not the best way to be loverly.
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