One of the hardest questions for me to answer is, “What’s your favorite kind of music?” I just hate answering it because I always sound like an idiot when I say, “I don’t really know…”
Whenever someone finds out that I’m a musician this is usually the first thing they ask. I’ll be at the dentist (and you know how inquisitive they can be, especially when you’re incapable of coherently responding to them) and every time I get, “Oh, you’re a musician? What kind of music do you like (or like to play)?” And you’d think that my answer would be really quick, since I do this for a living and all, but I am always caught off guard by the question. “Well, I play mostly rock and worship and country but also death metal and Baroque but I mostly play jazz, sometimes latin and hip hop. I guess Motown is my favorite?”
I must sound like a schizophrenic to these people. But it’s true! I couldn’t tell you what my favorite genre of music is, or my favorite artist, or anything because I love it all! So instead I decided to boil it down to my Top 10, and to make it even better I’m going to provide some listening examples for you. These are the 10 songs that I love most, not only because they shaped the way that I think of the bass and play music, but also because they changed who I am. Here they are, honestly, in no particular order:
Jackie Wilson – Higher and Higher
Probably still my favorite Jamerson bass line of all time, this song always brings me back to memories of watching a dancing toaster (Ghostbusters 2 reference intended).
ZAO – 5 Year Winter
I lived for this band while I was in high school and this is still my favorite of their songs. Makes me wanna break faces 🙂
Hillsong United – Freedom is Here
My favorite worship song to play. I don’t know what it is, but it drives so hard while being so simple at the same time.
Smokey Robinson – Tears of a Clown
Another great bass line from Jamerson!
Jackson 5 – I Want You Back
This song always puts a smile on my face, both while listening and while playing. It’s hard to go wrong with such a jammin bass line!
Thrice – Deadbolt
Another favorite from high school. My wife and I listened to this record over and over again (back when we were – like 15 – or something). And oldie but a goodie.
Victor Wooten – U Can’t Hold No Groove
This man single handedly changed my world and this is the song that did it.
Between the Buried and Me –
Love this record.
The Beatles – Get Back (Rooftop Concert)
I will spend the rest of my life dreaming of being as cool as McCartney looked/sounded at this show.
Stanley Clarke – School Days
I said in no particular order, but I probably did save the best for last. Not only did this record change my life, but the title song in particular. My father played this for me when I was 7 years old (I had picked up his bass that day and started messing around with it) and I became a bass player that day. I vowed to one day learn how to play like him. I’ll keep dreaming 🙂