What's a bass for?
Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 7:48PM
Trey Gunn in bass

There’s many things a bass can do. Carol Kaye’s version is, perhaps, old school in the sense that the music she played (plays) speaks a harmonic language that current pieces no longer have. Her discography is extremely sobering. It’s interesting to put her approach next to McCartney’s, who does speak a similar language but has a melodic sense unparalleled.

Then we have Jaco and Victor. But before that we had Bootsy -- who lays down the funk-o-meter rule like a sly dog. But all three owe a ton to Jamerson and they know (knew) it.

One thing is for sure: the bass has the word 'ass' in it for a reason.



Bootsy funk lesson -- could this, possibly, be everything one could ever need to know? I have to ask my myself "why is the Funk NEVER on the grid?" Here is the answer -- part of it is, part of it ain't.




Bootsy in action




James Jamerson with Mavin Gaye  "Ain't No Mountain HIgher", isloated bassline




James Jamerson, with the Jackson Five



Paul McCartney, "With a Little Help From My Friends", isolated bassline




Carol Kaye - dancing circles around the harmony




Jaco, can dead white guys be funky? -- check out the bassline in the 2nd chorus at: 1:58



Victor Wooten "Amazing Grace" -- check out him retuning on the fly in order to keep the harmonics intune. (Thanks for John Hendow for making me aware of this one.)



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