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Jaw droppingly good albums for bass players to hear


Bilbo

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It doesn't happen nearly as often as I would like but, occasionally, there is an album that you listen to and, from the first beat to the last, it is special and you keep going back to it for inspiration, sometimes for decades. A few I can't get over are:

 

Michel Camilo Big Band- Caribe - Anthony Jackson is on absolutely top form here. He is also  massively impressive on

 

Steve Kahn's live album 'The Suitcase' - a double live CD with Anthony Jackson on fire.

 

Allan Holdsworth's 'Road Games' with Jeff Berlin ripping us all a new one.

 

Jimmy Johnson on the first three Wayne Johnson Trio albums; Arrowhead, Grasshopper and Everybody's Painting Pictures

 

Bruford's first three: Feels Good To Me, One Of A Kind and especially Gradually Going Tornado - Jeff Berlin at his finest but the production on the last one really works for the bass.

 

Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light' - Jaco's finest moment? Possibly. But what about Pat Metheny's Bright Size Life.

 

Marc Johnson's Bass Desires

 

Dave Holland's Conference Of The Birds.

 

Which are the albums you go to for bass inspiration?

 

 

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I do admit that many years ago Stanley Clarke was the thing for me with his first solo. And School days was special, too.

 

Later on, I have fell in love with bassists who only play the right notes, sparingly. True: Gary Willis, Pekka Pohjola, and Niels-Henning Ørsted-Pedersen, they are all incredible, just like Marc Johnson and Bruford are mind blowing.

 

Jimmy Johnson, Tom Kennedy, Marcus Miller, and many others are exceptional sidemen, but I am not impressed by their compositions. One thing is to support, and another is to lead. Sometimes pretty easy sounding bass line can be earth shaking, when the player knows the style and helps to make the song larger than life. I like Tommy Shannon with SRV, Free and Andy Fraser, Kraftwerk. 

 

I have no idea of the players of some old Schönberg and Händel recordings or who plays with Macy Gray, but the bands play like a dream. I love the feel, when several players turn to a collective, which creates magic.

 

Specific records wanted:

Edgar Meyer - Dreams of flight

CAB 2

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Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors - 1st solo album from Fish.

 

John Giblin’s incredible playing on this album always manages to serve the song, but at the same time isn’t shy of being more than accompaniment.

 

Sailing the Seas of Cheese - Primus. 
 

see all of the above, then forget it.

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Eberhard Weber - Pendulum

 

This album turned me on to the  Electric Upright Bass, which Weber considered a key element to his tone, plus his sense of melody really resonated with me and has greatly influenced my playing. A haunting album. 

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Led Zep 1 made quite the impression on me as a youngster.

 

Good Times, Bad Times and Dazed and Confused in particular are among the first times I could really hear the bass and apreciate it's role in the music, especially as unlike a lot of the 80s Rock/Metal stuff I was listening to at the time, it wasn't just doubling the guitar part.

 

At least not all the time

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