For bass players and for any musician, in general, a concert is more than just about the music. As bass players, we tend to look deeper into the music, listening to the bass player locking in with the drummer, the harmonies they create, and all the interlocking parts they establish. A good bass player can elevate any to an otherworldly experience. After listening to these concerts, you will have a better understanding of what does it mean to be a leading bass player in the music industry.
With this list, we tried to compile some of the best concerts where the bass player in fact is having a leading role in the ensemble. We mention some old school artists such as the Headhunters with Paul Jackson. All the way up to Pino Palladino, who has been one of the busiest session bass players for years now, laying down a solid groove with D’Angelo.
Let’s get into it.
1 – Jaco Pastorius with Weather Report
The first concert we feature on our list is a classic. One of the earlier Weather Report concerts with Jaco Pastorius on bass. Jaco made his debut with Weather Report on their 1976 album “Black Market“. This concert is a clear example of the genius of Jaco. The bass is clearly audible and it is a great concert if you want to hear the master at work. A must listen!
2 – Headhunters with Paul Jackson
The second video on our list is another old school classic. This video is by Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters. Herbie founded the Headhunters after many years playing straight-ahead jazz with artists such as Miles Davis. This was a change in his career and this band focused on more groove-oriented music. This collaboration produced many hits, such as Chameleon (which every bass player should know) and a fusion jazz classic Actual Proof to name a few. Check out the whole concert, the massive groove is provided by Paul Jackson on bass and Mike Clark on drums. This concert is like a groove masterclass!
3 – Rush with Geddy Lee
The next video on our list is a rock classic! Rush with Geddy Lee on vocals and bass! Geddy, who is a multi-instrumentalist joined Rush in 1968, and he joined up with his childhood friend Alex Lifeson. This video is a must-watch for every rock bass player. They released 19 studio albums to date, all of which is a rock bass playing masterpiece. Their songs such as YYZ and Tom Sawyer are really challenging bass pieces that every rock bass player should know.
4 – D’Angelo and the Vanguard with Pino Palladino
The next one on the list is a concert from 2015. It features the legendary D’Angelo and his new band called The Vanguard. Pino Palladino and D’Angelo have been working together since his GRAMMY-winning album “Voodoo“. In D’Angelo’s music, the bass guitar is always the main part of the song, and in this video we can clearly hear it as well. Pino is laying down some series grooves together with the great Chris “Daddy” Dave on drums. A must listen if you are into groove, R & B, and soul bass playing.
5 – The Who with John Entwistle
Last, but not least, we have John Entwistle with The Who. This concert is also a must-watch for every rock bass player out there. It showcases the raw talent he had for this powerful music. His use of distorted bass sounds together with his fast pentatonic runs, and stage presence is really important to study as a rock bass player.
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