Get on up...and tell me where the bass is at.
October 21, 2008 6:22 PM   Subscribe

I'm in need of some seriously funky bass.

Who or what is your favorite song/band/album that's mainly driven by melodic bass? Think Bootsie, Larry Graham, Infectious Grooves, Parliament. Think virtuoso, all over the place, like your eyes bug out when you hear it. Any style, any musician, any song - especially artists who don't usually get down like that.
posted by ostranenie to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Primus.
posted by zippy at 6:32 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Zapp.
posted by ktrey at 6:42 PM on October 21, 2008

Response by poster: Assuming you mean Zappa, and he's on my list too..
posted by ostranenie at 6:43 PM on October 21, 2008

Response by poster: except you actually meant Zapp, whoops
posted by ostranenie at 6:44 PM on October 21, 2008

Victor Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
posted by kjars at 6:47 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

posted by cjorgensen at 7:04 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

Betty Davis
posted by paultopia at 7:11 PM on October 21, 2008

Some old school. Sly and the Family Stone: here, here, and here.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:12 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

Did you miss the sweet ass post on James Jamerson this past weekend? 'cause you can't get any funkier then someone who was in a band called THE FUNK BROTHERS.
posted by Mach5 at 7:46 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

The Red Hot Chili Peppers album One Hot Minute has some seriously funky bass. Personally, I think it's the central part of the album, although some people may disagree.
posted by muddgirl at 7:51 PM on October 21, 2008

There's not a lot of styles less likely to "get down like that" than the Andean huayno. Nonetheless, Willy Gonzalez of Argentina (playing a 6-string custom electric) has a take on it that's pretty unique and definitely virtuosic. He does other Latin American styles too -- Afro-Peruvian, chamamé, all sorts of stuff. homepage.

(disclosure: I know the guy, but have no vested interest in whether he makes your eyes bug out or not)
posted by dr. boludo at 8:10 PM on October 21, 2008

Jaco Pastorius. See his self-titled album.
posted by invitapriore at 8:31 PM on October 21, 2008

Aaliyah - If your girl only knew
TI What You Know
Daft Punk Around the World also one of the best videos ever :)
David Bowie "Ashes to Ashes"
Roxy Music "Love Is the Drug"
White Stripes Seven Nation Army
PJ Harvey Down By the Water
The BREEDERS Cannonball (so great!!!!!)
posted by citron at 8:36 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check out Kim Clarke with Defunkt on The Razor's Edge/Strangling Me With Your Love
posted by todd at 8:51 PM on October 21, 2008

Edgar Meyer. Probably the greatest living upright bassist, the guy put out an entire album on Sony of him playing the Bach cello suites on the doublebass AT PITCH. Of course if you're not a classical guy you might better relate to him playing THE GREATEST FUCKING DUET EVER WITH VICTOR WOOTEN. Or maybe this one where they PLAY THE SAME BASS.
posted by The White Hat at 8:53 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here's a few more quick takes.

James Jamerson is essential
Stanley Clarke
Jerry Jemmott (check the Aretha live @ Fillmore album)
Christian McBride
also check out Freakbass. young dude, mentored by Bootsy himself.
posted by gnutron at 9:38 PM on October 21, 2008

Meshell Ndegeocello.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:03 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding Betty Davis
From AMG:
A wildly flamboyant funk diva with few equals even three decades after her debut, Betty Davis combined the gritty emotional realism of Tina Turner, the futurist fashion sense of David Bowie, and the trendsetting flair of Miles Davis, her husband for a year. It's easy to imagine the snickers when a 23-year-old model married a famous musician twice her age, but Davis was no gold digger; she turned Miles on to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone (providing the spark that led to his musical reinvention on In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew), then proved her own talents with a trio of sizzling mid-'70s solo LPs.
Her rhythm section, Greg Errico and Larry Graham, came straight from the Family Stone.
posted by carsonb at 11:15 PM on October 21, 2008

Victor Wooten, Edgar Meyers.
Can't say it enough.
posted by lekvar at 11:31 PM on October 21, 2008

Digital Underground nuttin' nis funky uses a bass line from Miles Davis, either Fat Time or On The Corner, very funky.
posted by hortense at 1:28 AM on October 22, 2008

Victor Wooten, with or without Bela Fleck and the Flectones.
posted by imjustsaying at 2:06 AM on October 22, 2008

posted by fire&wings at 3:37 AM on October 22, 2008

Oteil Burbridge, solo or with the Aquarium Rescue Unit.
posted by emelenjr at 4:35 AM on October 22, 2008

If you want less virtuoso and more bass, look at dubstep genre, or certain break groups like Bassnectar. My favorite intro. to dubstep is the seminal Mary Ann Hobbs BBC Radio 1 shows, which are easy to google for on archival sites like (search term: dubstep warz).

And of course, one of the first albums I go to when testing bass speakers.. Fancy Footwork by Chromeo. Just the first song is good enough for a speaker test.. but all of Chromeo's stuff is electrofunk, synth and bass on crack.
posted by mezamashii at 5:35 AM on October 22, 2008

Check out jazz bassist/vocalist/composer Esperanza Spalding.

Also: Paul Simon's Graceland.
posted by barjo at 11:44 AM on October 22, 2008

As fire&wings notes above, most modern French house is highly indebted to the funk-derived electro of Daft Punk. Depending on your tolerance for micro-edited white-robot laptop funk, this may or may not appeal to you. It certainly doesn't have much to do with virtuosity (except in a software sense), but it's a lot of fun.

I far prefer "Phantom Pt. I" to Pt. II, but this YT link includes both.

The best mix of "DVNO" is the Mathematikal Re-Edit.

From the same label/camp is SebastiAn's "Walkman (Re-Edit)," his funkiest track by miles.
posted by mykescipark at 12:40 PM on October 22, 2008

Primus was already mentioned, but really anything with Claypool will do.

Holy Mackerel
Frog Brigade

All incredible.
posted by nitsuj at 7:21 AM on October 23, 2008

This whole thread and no one has asked, "What could be romantic to Mike Watt?"
posted by hydrophonic at 11:52 PM on October 23, 2008

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