Dec. 5, 2013
Are These the Ten Best Jazz Bassists Ever?
This Denver Westword Blog of the ten best jazz bassists of all time is obviously open to large disputes. Everyone on this list is unquestionably deserving, but should electric bassists like Jaco Pastorius and Victor Wooten be on a list of predominately acoustic jazz bassists? The approach and role of the electric bass in most forms of jazz is similar, but still quite different. And where’s Jimmy Blanton or Christian McBride? Anyway, it’s fun with great examples.
Yeah, I know that lists are all about opinions, but Victor Wooten? C’mon! It’s bad enough that he made the list, but above Paul Chambers? Victor Wooten beat Paul Chambers in a top 10 bassist list. Let that sink in.
If you’re reading this, when was the last time you played a Victor Wooten record? I challenge you to name 5 Victor Wooten songs. Can you do it? I doubt it. Hell, I doubt you can name 3 Victor Wooten albums. (Test yourself, don’t google it.)
It is also downright criminal to have a list on bassists that excludes players like Oscar Pettiford, Tommy Potter, Reggie Workman, Jimmy Garrison and Richard Davis.
The biggest error to me aside from Victor Wooten being here is that there is no mention of Slam Stewart. He made bowed bass playing a thing, and Paul Chambers followed his lead. Stewart has to make any bassist list just on that alone. He was an innovator.
Honorable mentions to Jymie Merritt, Bob Cranshaw, Doug Watkins, Wilbur Ware, Percy Heath, Sam Jones and Art Davis. Any of these men should be on this list before Victor Wooten.
Jon Solomon continues to show us how little he knows with his articles. How did he get a column writing about this music?
I saw Ray Brown at #10, the bottom of the list, and stopped reading.