Who's Your Favorite Bass Players; Why?

I like Paul Chambers for his groove and arco. Sam Jones for his Time. Rufus Reid becaues he taught me. Jaco because of the absolute passion. Christian McBride because he's the MAN righ now--and he's the director of the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific, which is my Alma Mater; Ron Carter because of everything he's recorded; George Maraz because of his soul; Richard Davis because of his intensiity; Reggie Workman due to his authenticity; Lonnie Plaxico because of his work with he Jazz Messengers; Scott LaFaro--BECAUSE HE'S THE BEST! (Eddie Gomez and Chuck Isreal are cool, too!). Who're you 'un?
jazz world Jaco and Mingus
rock world - John Paul Jones - improv anything
Tony Levin - Gabriel and Crimson bottom end
Entwhistle - too flashy but worked well with Townsend's power chords and Moon's bombast
Chris Squire - Yes virtuoso
Audiotomb: Right on. I'd add: Leo Lyons (Ten Years After) and Ron Wood ('Stones) slapped it good in the Beck/Stewart days.
I try to go with alphabetic order without classifying for jazz or rock.

Jeff Berlin
Charlie Haden
Percy Jones(Brand X)
Mick Karn
Bill Laswel
Tony Levin
John Pattitucci
Pekka Pohjola

Pekka's my favourite as composer and I sink in every of his album when play them.

Jeff Berlin and Percy Jones often play bass solos as no one else can.

Tony Levin plays any-bass jazz, rock, and as far as I'm consearned played with Carly Simon and lots of jazz projects. Crimson and Pete Gabriel are only a fraction of his bass career.

Bill Laswell is certainly an underground bass and electronic king.

OOPS! forgot about Holger Czukay, but basically he's not only bassist and can actually play any instrument he ever takes. He chose bass in CAN due to his leadership bug and he admitted that he couldn't play keyboards as good as Irmin Schmidt.
I've always liked Cliff Williams of AC/DC, especially on the old stuff (not that he isn't still good, I only really liked the Bon Scott era). His bass playing really provided a great line in their songs.
Man, there are so many and most provide the absolute foundation for the music surrounding them.

I have to go with Chris Squire of Yes because he is still going STRONG after 30+ years. Saw Yes twice last summer, once in the small, acoustically excellent Flint Center in Cupertino, California. His ability to sustain and BEND a single note is just incredible and an true adventure.

Now, if we are talking UPRIGHT bass, Paul Chambers is hard to beat.
Jazz - Jimmy Blanton
Pop - James Jamerson

Honorable mentions - Jaco, Jack Bruce, Paul McCartney, Jack Cassady
Flea- Red Hot Chili Peppers This is the best rock band in the last 10 years and his sound is a big reason why. He plays fast, loud, and funky. Great live performances. I've seen them 5 times and seeing them again in Atlanta next week.
Agree that Christian McBride is the man right now, but
fortunately there's a lot interesting younger players like Reid Anderson from The Bad Plus and James Cammack
who's on Ahmad Jamal's new CD.

Always enjoyed Gary Peacock, who should be nominated
for sainthood for having to listen to Keith Jarret sing.
John Wetton (King Crimson, UK, Asia, Steve Hackett's Genesis revisted) and Mike Rutherford (Genesis). It's must be the Moog Taurus Bass Pedals that make my spine tingle.
Scott Lafaro changed the role of the bass players in Jazz music.
I love Gary Peacock's wooden sound in "Live at the Blue Note"
Finally I like the relaxed Charlie Haden in records like "Beyond The Missouri Sky " and "Night and the city".
For broad-based rock'n roll, I can't leave out Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. He is a great improvisor, can really chant with his bass, plays all over the spectrum, and styles ranging from jazzy funk to polka. I like to listen to him in concert, where the bass can be felt! Just had'ta mention it.
Mel Schacher, Grand Funk Railroad, for power and muscle. If you haven't had a chance to listen to any Grand Funk Railroad, get E Pluribus Funk. It has the hit Footstompin' Music, but that it is not the song to judge the bass playing on this set.

Billy Sheehan, the bass player's Yngwie Malmsteen.

Jack Bruce, Cream.

Everyone else has mentioned most of my other favorites.
Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. He is good enough that Keith Richards asked him to replace Bill Wyman. That's good.

Lovin the Q,
Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Tony Levin, John Paul Jones & Cliff Burton. Each plays/played the instrument with passion. They all most certainly have/had their own style, and Geddy, Cliff, John and Steve are/were irreplaceable to their resepective bands.
Dave Holland - solidity and virtuosity
Ray Brown r.i.p. - swung and drove like no other, his blues are impeccable
Palle Daniellson - some great contributions to Jarrett's European quartet
Charlie Haden - balladesque and lyrical
Jaco Pastorius - should be pretty obvious
Richard Bona - worthy successor to Jaco on the fretless electric
my brother :-)
That's an easy one - Stewart Cook - bass player for Credence Clearwater Revival! I liked his style - not to mention that he was my roomate and fraternity brother at San Jose State. Lots of good times together - and he didn't get a giant ego when the group started to make some real money!
It might be pointed out the CCR was one of the few 1960s/1970s rock groups that didn't get screwed financially by the record labels. Stew's father was an attorney, and he made sure the group got first rate legal representation at all times. They also signed with Fantasy Records, a mostly regional record label that was locally owned.
All of the above with Jay Anderson, Marc Johnson and Michael Manring. Michael Manring "Drastic Measures" is my favorite bass player cd. Why? The music is a little classical jazz and the few solos there are no overdubs.
Okay, how about Charles Fambrough--his groove. Charnet Moffett because he's all that. Oscar Pettiford--he has chops to burn. Avery Sharp--he's got great ideas. Santi Debriani--he can hang with the Ellington band or Oliver Lake. I'm pretty good (in my college days--and I have recordings to prove it!). Red Mitchell because of his humanity AND he tuned his bass like a cello. Oh yeah, and Red Callendar for his swing; Milt Hinton--he's The Judge (he was actually one of the very first jazz bassists, switching from tuba to four string!). How about Jamil Nasser? He's got PHAT TONE! Don't forget Slam Stewart and the arco/vocal solos! You know, Dave Eubanks is pretty good--he's the brother of Kevin Eubanks, guitarist of "The Tonight Show" fame. Sheesh! I almost forgot about Cecil McBee--low reg! And what about CHARLES MINGUS??????????????????? His playing was great, especially in the bebop days, but, of course, his compositions are 2 dye 4! And there are some others, like Walter Booker, Dave Holland, Ron Carter, Al Makibbon, Gary Mapp, John Ore, Todd Coolman, Bill Douglass, Cameron Brown (I had some lessons from him in Italy), JIMMY GARRISON (Trane!), Tommy Potter, Leroy Vinegar (West Coast soul), CHARLIE HADEN, Ray Drumhand, Buster Williams (Super fat tone!)--all of these cats have given me pause in order to consider that BASS is the foundation of music, and, probably, life. Thanks, all.

Gobs of great bassist out there. Crazy 4 beefed up the list pretty good w/ the last post, Here are a few more:
Jannik Top- Zeul vibrato pioneer (and king)/Magma
Keith Macksoud-Present/5uu's (sorta takes up where Top left off)
Pad Conca-Blast/Otolithen
Fred Hopkins-Air/Craig Harris/Karl Berger... made lots of real good rubbery acoustic bass sounds.
Calvin Hill-Max Roach (Pictures in a Frame is a good start)
Mark Helias-Huge resume, his solo discs are all good
Mario Pavone-Thomas Chapin/also a great composer, also lots of excellent solo releases.
Miroslav Vitous- Weather Report...The discs w/ Rypdal & Dejohnette are great.
Stomu Takeshi-Another big resume, Erik Friedlander Topaz is a good one.
Fred Baker-Phil Miller/Pip Pyle (was incredible at the prog festival in Seattle last Aug.)
Mark Dresser-Huge high quality output, try Sakoto Fuji, Bell the Cat.
Glen Moore-Oregon/his Nude Bass Descending disc is one of his best.
Stuart Leibig-Nels Cline/Bone Structure, try Bone Structure or his Pomegranite disc.
Dave Willey-Thinking Plague/Hamster Theatre, (super talented hard working composer & multi instrumentalist)
Alphonso Johnson-Weather Report/Allan Holdsworth (King Crimson blew it by not picking him up when he auditioned),try his 1st two solo discs or A.H. Velvet Darkness.
Hellmut Hattler- A big part of what made KRAAN so damn great, try Wiederhoren or Live 74 (or go to Nearfest on 6/29)
Jamaladeen Tacuma-Ornette Coleman, some of the solo discs are spotty, Mirakle w/ Derek Bailey is good.
Melvin Gibbs-Ronald Shannon Jackson/Rollins Band/Harriet Tubman (H.T. Prototype is a smoker).
Fima Ephron-Lost Tribe/Dave Fiuczynski (his solo disc aint' bad either)
Mick Karn-Japan/Mark Isham, the Polytown disc is my favorite thing he's done
Eberhard Weber-This guy should have been listed 5 times already, Following Morning and Colors of Chloe are essential.
Hugh Hopper-Soft Machine/StomuYamashta, cool fuzz bass pioneer
Kato Hideki- He's on tons of recordings, but Bass Army really kicks arse.
Chihiro S.-Lacrymosa Kind of like the best Pohjola but a little darker and intricate.
Kent Kessler-Vandermark 5/NRG Ensemble (NRG Calling All Mothers is a good starter)
Skuli Sverrison-Holdsworth/Mo Boma/Jim Black (try Jim Black Alasnoaxis)
Gerald Veasley (I think alot of his stuff is generic swill, but what he does on Odean Pope's Out For a Walk is a work of hurculean glandular genius.
Wilbo Wright-UI (get the Two Sided Sharpie for big deluxe slabs of e.bass)
Jean Jaques Avenel-Steve Lacy (the Lacy/Roswell Rudd, Monk's Dream is a helluva' good score)
Rob Nieske (his 3 disc is packed w/ carefully arranged improvised/composed mid sized ensemble works that really hold up)
Sasaki Hisashi-Ruins, seeing this guy live dwarfs most live bass player experiences, HUGE vocabulary and he has his rig down cold.
Billy Swann-Muffins, another twisted fuzz bass king.
Kermit Driscoll-Bill Frisell/New and Used/Mahavishnu Project, (can't go wrong w/ New and Used, if yer' into challenging, interesting and obviously for the most part premeditated stuff.
Trevor Dunn-Mr. Bungle/Jettison Slinky/Zorn, his Trio Convulsant disc is an amazing volcanic ripper (kind of like an Ornette version of Bozzio's Blacklight Syndrome).
Duane: Your postings are very hipological. Thanks for reminding me of Mirslov! Here's a couple more: Bob Crenshaw, who is on so many Blue Note recordings. Doug Watkins, a contemporary of Paul Chambers. Herbie Lewis, Frank Tusa, Mel Graves, and Larry Grennadier--all S.F. cats. There's also Neils Ostred Henning Pederson, who had monster chops. Gary Mapp played a lot with Monk. One of Wynton Marsalis' best bass players was Robert Hurst. You know, I can't believe I haven't mentioned Percy Heath and George Duvier! What's wrong with me??? I'm sure that I can think of a lot more, too. I gotta tell ya, I just love that instrument!
Aston 'Family Man' Barret from Bob Marley and the Wailers. His playing impressed me to the point of buying up 'Songs of Freedom' song book, where i learnt couple of dozen (most favorite) songs and never picked the bass (Fender Fretless P-Bass circa '71/ Messa Boogie 400) again! I also liked Rufus Reid's playalong books!
EL, I LOVE "The Evolving Basist!" It's a classic. It's how I learned to make bass lines!
Crazy, I have "TEB" somewhere? I worked with Simandle. Hours of scale and fret work. One of the best books for bass. Even though written in 1800's for upright/bow, you can use it with electric bass! I did it, and regret quiting.
Oops. When you mentioned "Rufus Reid's playalong books," I just assumed that you were referring to TEB. Mea culpa! But, yeah, I know all--too-well about scale and arpeggio practice, especially in D flat!
How 'Bout Bootsy?

The old P-Funk tracks are something else. ''Flashlight'' goes into my guilty pleasure pile.
Well, I DO really like myself, and it's not like I personally know many of the others mentioned, so... ;^p

Actually, y'all have covered it pretty well. I'll second Dean Peer, but he's so expansive in his playing that it's hard to even consider him a "bass player." Truly, a remarkable musician, and "Ucross" is one of the best made recordings that I own.

I will throw out the name Karl Gunther, although if you are not from Columbus, Ohio, or you don't very closely follow Blue Murder (who is now defunct, but with whom Karl did work on a never-to-be-released third alubum), you probably won't know who he is. He's the only bass player I've seen who draws a huge crowd TOWARDS the stage for his bass solo! He's stupid good, with musical taste, and is a heck of a nice guy. Probably even nicer than myself, so I guess I lose again...

But back to the question at hand, I would have to say that if I had to pick one bass player to be my favorite, it would have to be John Paul Jones. When I have friends who express an interest in learning to play bass, and they ask me for a good first step, my advice is always "Listen to JPJ on every Zep tune you can get your hands on. That, is what it means to play bass guitar."

Of course, on upright, Christian McBride and Charlie Hayden are two of my faves.

Check out Scott Thunes, who played for Zapppa in the 80s. Evidently, he is a jerk, so cannot get work. But man can he play. Also, it would be a shame not to mention Paul McCartny here. No band can be as great as the Beatles were without a great rhythm section, and if you listen closely, you'll hear that Paul always made music with that lefty Rickenbacker. Not flashy, but note perfect and choice.

For rock I like Stuart Hamm, onfortunately his songwriting abilities are a bit less. And then there is Rob Wasserman. Check out 'Trio's', which is stunning imho.
Perhaps, the most influential bass player in modern popular music must be Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone, Graham Central Station), as he invented the ubiquitous "popping" bassline. Even such monsters as Stanley Clarke, Jaco, etc. acknowledge(d) this.

My faves (in no particular order):
Larry Graham - see above
Oscar Pettiford - virtuoso of his era
Stanley Clarke - nuanced, power, speed, light touch
Percy Jones (Brand-X) - speed, harmonically advanced
Reggie Workman - big, fat tone, comfortable at speed
Jaco Pastorius - flat out improvisational genius
Brian Bromberg - great tone, technically phenomenal
Fred Hopkins - wrapped David Murray's bands in a warm hug
John McVie - a Chicago Blues legend that happens to be a Brit
Scott LoFaro - no technical limits, great tone, big ears
George Mraz - fast and clean, light tone, great accompianist
Charles Mingus - Flat out genius as a bassist and composer
Flea - great stylist, melodic, the Peppers's foundation
Jack Bruce - One of the best solists in early rock
Allen Wentz (Wild Cherry) - Funky, FUNKY bass lines
Ray Brown - Timekeeper par excellence
Johnny Dyani - Avantgardist with huge tone and soul
Tommy Shannon - muscular playing with Stevie Ray Vaughn
Charlie Haden - the "Round Sound", great with Ornette
Duck Dunn - The center of the earth, and the Memphis Sound
Sorry, got to go.

Right on regarding the ultra-influencial Larry Graham. I'd say it's tough to decide who was more influencial, Larry or James Jamerson. Both are legends.

And yes, thank you for reminding me of Duck Dunn. He is definitely one of my favorite players.

Later, Tom.