In a chat with a daily doser
today—sparked by Kim Gordon's admission that her playing is more about
style than virtuosity—I was introduced to bassist Tal Wilkenfeld. This
23 year old Aussie leads her own trio, has toured with The Allman
Brothers Band, Chick Corea and Jeff Beck. Here she and Beck have a
ball trading licks at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago.
The general conversation about bass players with incredible ability followed and he also brought Victor Wooten to my attention. I have yet to listen to as much Béla Fleck and the Flecktones as I'd like to so I didn't know that Wooten has been with the band since the beginning. I believe there's an observation to be made with his performance of Norwegian Wood here that Wooten is taking the bass beyond what a bass is typically expected (and perhaps even intended) to be, namely the ballast of the song ... the bottom that keeps the rhythm section rocking. It's indisputably impressive, as would be a skillfully done interpretation of a toccata on tuba—but I'm not sure I'd log a lot of time listening to tuba toccatas.
Another daily dose fan brought mondo talented bassists Stuart Hamm to my attention. You can see him show off, again in the vein of a tuba toccata, by watching him perform Flow My Tears (The Policeman Said), or you can see him use that thud staff the way the good lord intended in this clip where Joe Satriani mixes up his flying six strings with the solid floor of Hamm's four.