Great Rock Bassists your Top 10.Rock not Jazz. But Hey what about Reggae

My top 10.

  1. Chris Squire
  2. Jack Bruce
  3. Tina Weymouth
  4. Kim Deal
  5. Kim Gordon
  6. Peter Hook
  7. Rick Danko
  8. John Entwistle
  9. Jaco Pastorious
  10. Aston Barrett (Bob Marley and the Wailers) 


S. Clarke has never been a favorite of mine but I'm curious: are you rejecting all of his recorded performances or his own albums, specifically?


@stuartk I’m rejecting any iteration of Stanley Clarke I’ve ever heard.  If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

I find that particular type of dentist’s-office-waiting-room smooth-jazz Muzak unendurable.  It makes my soul hurt.

I mentioned him by the self-evident merits of his technical proficiency.

When addressing this thread, I tried to think of great non-classical, non-jazz bassists.  I have a bass-playing friend who is extremely into the Jaco/Manhattan Transfer/Wooten/Clarke stuff.  I perused those artists’ catalogs online again when trying to make my list, and I seemed to find Stanley’s output somehow slightly more unpalatable than people like Jaco, Wooten, and Flea.  It’s difficult to reconcile an artists’ technical virtuosity with the disagreeableness of their music.  
I’m not sure how I would go about the same type of list for guitarists, given that the likes of Van Halen, Vai, Satriani, Malmsteen and their ilk are clearly of a demonstrably higher level of technical proficiency/virtuosity than just about everybody else, but also make terrible music.

I suppose when we say “best,” perhaps a qualification is necessary to define the terms.  “Sheer technical proficiency,” or “makes you happy when listening,” or some combination of both.

Lot of great bassists listed here but give a listen to Henrik Linder from 'Dirty Loops'....probably one of the greatest young bassists around.  Mostly Jazz and Fusion.  Insane skills....


Thanks for the clarification. I feel the same way about “Sheer technical proficiency".

The guitarists you mention and their ilk have never appealed to me because they fail to engage me emotionally.  I find watching them more akin to witnessing an athletic competition than experiencing art. They do enjoy a very devoted following, though. 

Clarke was much more unambiguously Jazz-oriented early on in his career. For example, he was a member of the first (mostly) acoustic iteration of Return to Forever that released "Return to Forever" and "Light as a Feather". His playing in that group was much more supportive and does not display the extroverted Funk influenced "lead bass" approach for which he's best known. 

I have no idea whether you would enjoy these recordings and I'm not attempting to champion Clarke by any means-- simply pointing out that there is stylistic  variation in his discography.