Sunday, September 13, 2009

Underrated Bass Players

This is a list of some great players whose talents I think have been sorely overlooked:

Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) - I know he's respected by his peers and music journalists, but his name rarely comes up on music forums when people make up lists of great bass players. Verdine is wizard on the instrument, and more people need to recognize his gifts.

Colin Moulding (XTC) - He always brought something interesting to his bass lines, great melodic sense combined with amazing technical precision.

Jermaine Jackson - I've heard some people don't even believe he ever actually played the bass on any of the Jackson 5 or Jacksons' songs or any of his solo work, but rather had a stand-in playing his bass parts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jermaine is a consummate bass player who held down the bottom on the Jacksons' tunes as well as his solo work. I think many people were so mesmerized by his brother MJ that they often overlooked his considerable talents.

Carol Kaye - She played bass on several of the Beach Boys hits and was a Motown session player and added bottom to a number of Phil Spector productions. And that's not even scratching the surface of all of her accomplishments on the instrument. But for some reason, she never got the recognition that someone like James Jamerson received.

Cordell "Boogie" Mosson and Rodney "Skeet" Curtis - Both brought heavy doses of funk as bass players for the P-Funk army but were usually overshadowed by the more flamboyant Bootsy Collins.

Prince - Yeah, I said it. He's more recognized for his guitar-playing abilities, but if you really listen to some of his bass work, you'll realize he's a helluva player on the instrument.

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