Bass in the Blues, exemplary recordings?
July 12, 2016 4:54 PM   Subscribe

I play the bass. Haven't played much Blues music. For the purpose of study and emulation I am looking for Blues recordings where the bass playing is masterful . Somewhat surprisingly, I haven't found any discographies online. Recordings where the bass is fulfilling its modest background duties, as dictated by the genre, in exemplary fashion. (Sheer Blues only, please, for this purpose. Not Rock.)
posted by bertran to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
You could start with the music of Willie Dixon- he's one of the titans of blues, having composed and played on many of the albums released by Chess Recordings.

Also, check out Donald "Duck" Dunn.

See here.
posted by EKStickland at 5:19 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hound Dog Taylor, Give Me Back My Wig Drums and bass are wonderful, and use of Africanized Rhythm makes this version a knockout.
posted by effluvia at 5:26 PM on July 12, 2016

Jerry Jemmott with B.B. King, on "Live and Well" like I Want You So Bad
posted by thelonius at 5:29 PM on July 12, 2016

Nightmusic clip, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Crossfire with Studio Backup Band The bass player here is phenomenal.
posted by effluvia at 5:58 PM on July 12, 2016

Gah I know you said no rock but as a fellow bassist I can't help myself: you would do yourself a serious disservice ignoring Hendrix's Voodoo Chile (Jack Casady on bass). I won't link to youtube because it's too beautifully recorded.
posted by STFUDonnie at 6:01 PM on July 12, 2016

SRV recordings. Tommy Shannon is quite the bass player!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:04 PM on July 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

this song was mentioned in the No Treble article linked above, but I want to highlight it: Born Under A Bad Sign. I think it's Duck Dunn on that track.
posted by thelonius at 6:14 PM on July 12, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks all so far! Do any Willie Dixon recordings stand out from the catalog for anyone for the bass-work?
posted by bertran at 6:22 PM on July 12, 2016

SRV Look at Little SisterHere's one with Tommy Shannon and Jeff Healey on Lap Steel.
posted by effluvia at 7:14 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Listen to Jimi Hendrix's cover of Born Under a Bad Sign. Amazing bass line.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:55 AM on July 13, 2016

There is a giant Chess box set that may be the greatest thing since air conditioning. Check it out.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:57 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Listening to Booker T right now. Great bass.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:37 AM on July 13, 2016

I have an album on my iTunes called "Blues in Jazz: Best of the Small Groups." It has 18 tracks and I would think that a small group's bass would be more prominent than in a larger group or orchestra. However, I can't find it online anywhere to give you a link to listen to it. I did find two tracks as mp3 downloads, just by searching for the title. Maybe helpful, maybe not.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:55 AM on July 13, 2016

You might find Steve Swallow inspiring.
posted by mule98J at 10:03 AM on July 13, 2016

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