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Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by metalprof, Mar 15, 2010.
In January, all of us (less Fred Marshall) went to the NAMM show in Los Angeles. Steve DiGiorgio had an appointment with Warwick basses in order to secure an endorsement deal with them. I have known Steve for quite a few years, and have played with him for the past three. I have never seen Steve nervous about meeting other players, playing shows, etc. But this time he was a bit wired up. When I asked him why, he said that his meeting was with whom he considered the most amazing bass player alive in the world. His name? Jonas Hellborg.
We met with Jonas, and Steve was noticeably nervous, which actually cracked me up. Steve is a font of complete confidence and this time he was more than just a bit star-struck as well as awed. When Jonas picked up an $8,000 fretless and started playing, I could see why. This guy was nothing short of the most incredible player I have ever seen. It was pretty damn funny when Jonas handed Steve the bass. Steve could barely play! He would simply thump a few notes, mumble something about how it sounded, and hand the bass back to Hellborg. This went on for the better part of two hours while Jonas played, handed Steve a bass, Steve plinked off a few notes, and handed the bass back. Round and round it went. Jonas didn't seemed to be phased by this, but it amused the crap out me! Steve was walking around talking to himself saying 'remember, you are one of them....remember, you are one of them..." over and over.
Steve's saving grace was when the bassist for Mudvayne came up and recognized him. The kid immediately started spewing about how Steve was the reason he started playing in the first place, etc etc. This seemed to return some of that DiGiorgio confidence that I have always known.
Anyway, check Jonas Hellborg out. I have seen a lot of amazing players listed in this thread - Steve included, but I have never seen anything like what I saw when Jonas Hellborg picked up a bass and started thumpin' away!
He's an amazing technical player, no doubt. Unfortunately, he's one those players whose play is best suited for free form Jazz, which is to say his technical prowess completely overwhelms his sense of melody.
Here he is jamming with Mattias of Freak Kitchen...
I COMPLETELY forgot about Hellborg.....I should be shot, no, really......
Two words: Geddy Lee. But you already knew I was going to say that.
Two guys that are often painfully overlooked in my opinion are:
Ross Valory - Journey - "Stone in Love"
Francis Bucholz - former Scorpions/current Dreamtide - "As Soon as the Good Times Roll"
Let's be honest here..... no one is going to confuse a bassline from the Scorps or Journey with say.... Primus, but both of those songs and players are pretty darn good. Their craftsmanship doesn't rear it's head in "over the top" performances, but rather in things like note selection, technique and just plain ol' great riff writing. I always have to "air bass" when listening to those songs.... I can't stop myself.
Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse - Hammer Smashed Face. John McVie from Fleetwood Mac - The Chain.
Check these out and let me know if you need more examples:
Jaco Pastorius - "Donna Lee"
Joey Tafolla (John Onder) - "B.M.W."
Racer X (John Alderete) - "Skit Skat Wah" & "Scarified"
Joey Tafolla (Wally Voss) -"Stalingrad"
Bill "The Buddah" Dickens - "Playing To Myself"
Gary Willis - "Mean Streak"
THERE IS ONLY ONE NAME - JACO PASTORIUS. After him things weren't the same anymore.
Gotta be patient and listen with attention... after you get the ideia you will see how GREAT he is (or was, so to speak)
There was an indie pop punk band called The Ergs! that had a tremendous bass player. He was voted the best underground bass player of Pennsylvania I think. Jeff Erg I think...
Augury - Fragmentary Evidence, Concealed
Atheretic - Apocalyptic Nature Fury
If you're in to death metal, Dominic Lapointe is exceedingly talented.
Suggestions for metal tunes with kick-ass bass:
Angra (Luis Mariutti)--Time
Crimson Glory (Jeff Lords)--Lonely
Dreamscape (Benno Schmidt)--When Shadows Are Gone
Fates Warning (Joe DiBiase)--Part Of The Machine
Fates Warning (Joey Vera)--A Pleasant Shade Of Gray Part XI
Ion Vein (Brian Gordon)--Reflections Unclear
Katagory V (Dustin Mitchell)--Fading In...
(This one is not just a shameless plug. Dustin is the best bassist I've ever worked with)
Redemption (Sean Andrews)--Bleed Me Dry
Zero Hour (Troy Tipton)--Stratagem
On a "lighter" note, anyone who pointed out Tal Wilkenfeld is right on the money! That girl can tear it up! She has a solo album entitled "Transformation," and you can hear some songs off of it on her MySpace page. Any one of those songs are perfect examples of kick-ass bass playing.
J-Dubya, you stole my idea when you mentioned that Wilkenfeld and Oritanthi should collaborate on a project. There must be something in the Australian water. If you want to make it a killer female power trio, you can add Hannah Ford on drums. She's a very young up-and-coming drummer from Chicago with a jazz fusion band called Pandorum. I highly reccommend that you check her out. In fact, if I ever became famous enough as a singer, I would try to pull a Ron Keel and form a band with these three young ladies. The only difference between my band and Keel's would be that mine wouldn't suck!
Stay metal. Never rust.
Alot of Symphony X songs have great bass lines. They may not be super flash, but still intricate, and very tightly insync with the drummer which is probably more important to a young bass player than 8 finger tapping (no offense to Hibria, the bass player is awesome).
Unleash The Fire on Symphony X "The Odyssey" is a good example.