Today music fans are not only listening in the comfort of their homes but they are also watching. Thirty years ago, there may have been one or two TV shows a week – other than Lawrence Welk – that featured any kind of musical performance. Today, not only does cable TV regularly offer performances, but videos of all kinds of musicians – some famous, many unknown (and for a reason) – are available both commercially and free on the Internet at sites such as YouTube.com.
Happily, bass players have not gone ignored in this new age of video clips. There are amazing videos of your favorite bassists, sometimes performing with people who might surprise even the most knowledgeable fans. In addition to presenting some jaw-dropping videos of the world’s greatest bass players, we will also offer up some the funnier bass performances on video. Warning: Videos on YouTube and similar sites have a habit of disappearing quickly for all kinds of reasons – most of them legal – so catch them when you can. Sorry if they are already gone by the time you try to view them.
This issue’s article on Jaco puts the emphasis on looking ahead. I’ve provided two videos, each including a classic tune from Jaco’s repertoire, featuring two of today’s foremost bassists. It’s safe to say that Jaco would dig these modern interpretations of his playing.
Dave Weckl’s band doing a Jaco staple, with an extraordinary bass solo by Tom Kennedy.
Pat Metheney with Richard Bona performing Bright Size Life, first recorded by Pat and Jaco.
Stanley Clarke is joined here by heavy hitters ranging from Marcus Miller to Flea on very long version of School Days. Some real surprises as you hear each bassist take his turn.
Check out Jeff Berlin covering Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven – unaccompanied!
This young woman is for real. You’ll be hearing from Tal Wilkenfeld for years to come.
Here’s Eddie Gomez performing a sequence of solos on upright with Chick Corea.
This might be the most amazing of all the videos. Extra credit to whomever can identify the bassist. Coolest bass player ever? Just watch.