Deep In The Cut: Five Amazing Live Displays Of Everlasting Bass
Bootsy Collins with Bootsy's Rubber Band "I'd Rather Be With You"
When we’re talking BASS, William Earl “Bootsy” Collins is a pretty safe and smart place to start.
Bootsy Collins is to bass what Jimi Hendrix is to guitar.
Bootsy and his brother Catfish, made their bones as teens traveling the globe with James Brown’s band, the legendary early 1970's band original incarnation of the legendary J.B.’s.
Yet there's perhaps no better example on YouTube, of Bootsy being Jimi’s bass guitar musical/spiritual doppelganger, than this particular clip from a 1976 show in Houston leading his own Rubber Band, playing his hit “I’d Rather Be With You”.
It's a slow burn that builds momentum throughout but when Bootsy asks the crowd “is it alright if I play my space bass?”, buckle up. You are going for a ride. Bootzilla is about to shoot all this bass masterfunksmanship in your eye so you can see him coming.
Everything good is nasty, but bass ain't truly good, until you've watched Bootsy play with it.
Thundercat "Them Changes"
At age 31, Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner is still relatively young but in a multitude of ways he is Bootsy's spiritual son.
Thundercat started playing professionally by 15.
By 16 he was the regular bassist in legendary LA thrash metal band Suicidal Tendencies, an outfit that had already spawned Metallica bassist Robert Trujilio.
In recent years he’s been thumping-n-bumping along as a part of the same loose Los Angeles collective of jazz/soul/funk/hip-hop artists that gave us saxophonist Kamasi Washington, producer Flying Lotus and hip-hop-artist/legend-in-the-making-if-not-already Kendrick Lamar.
Thundercat is known, among bassists, as the master of the Moog "Moogfooger" filter pedal.
This particular song is the funkiest description of a broken heart set to wax in some time.
It uses the opening drum break from The Isley Brothers classic "Footsteps In The Dark".
Many 90's rap fans will recognize it as the one used on Ice Cube's "Today Was A Good Day".
The lyrics are about as graphic as a 1970's Sam Peckinpah flick but you can get back to that.
For now, marvel at Thundercat going Straw Dogs on that trademark, out-sized, six-string bass.
This particular version was cut live in studio on LA's KCRW, our fav radio station in the country.
Chic "Everybody Dance"
This man created the bass line to “Good Times”.
That bass line was the bottom for one of its decade's biggest, most enduring hits.
That bass line's second life introduced the next generation to a whole new genre.
Bernard left us too soon.
This song helps illustrate his illness on the instrument.
It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing.
Jaco Pastorious with Weather Report "Third Stone From The Sun"
Since the subjects of bass, and Jimi, have already come up, we gotta have some Jaco.
This clip is labeled as “Third Stone From The Sun”, the soaring surf-rock instrumental off The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album Are You Experienced?
A close listen reveals several Jimi song licks, including "Them Changes" (Band of Gypsies, not the Thundercat song).
There's also some additional stuff even I’m not arrogant to think I can accurately describe.
Are you experienced in Jaco?
You should be.
Start here if not.
Do I Have to Say His Name?!?
U couldn’t have a show of talent on a stage without HIM.
Only man bad enough to own his own color and symbol.
Thank You, Prince.
For Being Everything.