I’ve been following Scott’s Bass Lessons for a while and his recent releases of videos featuring greatest and best bassists is genius for promoting the art of the bass and for marketing his bass lessons. The videos also create a certain controversy on the ranking of the players in question indicative of the preferences, age and exposure to bassists by the viewers.
This led me to some questions that would actually clarify who are [were] the best Funk Bass Players.
1] First of all, WHAT IS FUNK BASS? Pretty straightforward but clarifying question that gets to the notable suggestion that there are players from several genres that add funky riffs. (Yes, we hope so, it’s probably part of who they are . . .) Does funk have to belong to a certain era, does it exclude blues, fusion, R&B? Yes, there is a considerable complement of musicians who don’t like classifying their music and while I get it, it would certainly help in this exercise. Notwithstanding the notion that we would have a final statement to include or exclude bassists like Chuck Rainey, James Jamerson and Abraham Laboriel who clinically defy cataloging but add funk and vitality to every piece of music that they play.
2] Is this or is it not a POPULARITY contest? The question begs the question regarding the age, experience and exposure of viewers to bassists worldwide. It would also encourage viewers to research some of the groundbreaking bassists that are deceased.
Perhaps additional criteria could assist or perhaps the videos are doing what they intend, generating dialogue and publicity. Nothing wrong with that.