1. Charles Mingus
The ultimate bass prodigy, played with Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton in the 40's, a legend of hard bop and free jazz but a man who could swing (see Blues and Roots Album, wow !)
2. Billy Sheehan
Played with Talas, David Lee Roth, Steve Vai and G3 and perhaps most significantly the brilliant jazz-rock fusion band, Niacin. The timing and sheer funk power of his playing with this band gives him the #2 spot3. Larry Graham (Sly & The Family Stone)
Funk pioneer who invented the slapping sound, which he calls "thumpin and pickin'
4. James Jamerson
As the uncredited bass player on so many Motown hits he is probably one of the most important bass players there has ever been; prime influence on 2 above, on John Entwhistle.
5. Marcus Miller
Marcus's music falls squarely within the popular fusion mould and while the music itself may not be to everyone's taste the bass playing is beyond belief
6. Eberhard Weber
ECM Jazz player; he plays it like a synthesiser, with a bow and electronics attached, waves of sound, a heart wrenching that has the same effect as the sax of his colleague Jan Garbarek
7. John Entwistle - The Who
Known as The Ox or Thunder Fingers, he did what a rock bass player does best. He's the safety net that hangs things together while Daltrey, Moon and Townhend walk the tightrope
8. Ron CarterI'm picking him almost purely because of a Live in Montreaux tape I once had of him with Milt Jackson, but he is one of the premier bass players in Jazz, also plays the cello, does classical, etc.
9. Stanley Clarke
Listen to him on the Return to Forever and Light as a feather albums with Chick Corea from the early 70's......the Jimi Hendrix of the bass
10. Chris Squire - Yes
I'm choosing him because the bass was integral to Yes's sound, the complexity, the changes in time signatures, all add up to a genius bass player
11 Geddy Lee (Rush)
Probably better known for his vocals voice, he's lited because the band has only three members, making the bass a critical instrument for a band who'se music is complex prog. Listen to him on Permanent Waves
12 Bootsy Collins (Parliament/Funkadelic)
The funkiest band that was ever beamed down to earth; bass critical
13 Jaco Pastorious
Takes the bass places where it never went before; incredibly intricate solos and master of harmonics
14 Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad)
Incredible grooves that defined the band; heavy as hell, makes your bones shudder
15 Jean-Jacques Burnel (The Stranglers)
The bass also defines the Stranglers in their first punk phase; a menacing sound at the forefront.
16 Roger Glover (Deep Purple)
One of the masters and one of the few who could keep up with Richie and Iam Paice.
17 Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)
Listen to the Intro of Waiting for an Alibi; enough said
18. Victor Wooten
Three times winner of Bass Player of the Year from Bass Player Magazine. He's number 18 because his constant slapping seems a bit anachronistic; he is a technical genius
19. Aston Francis Barrett
It's impossible to talk about the bass without including reggae and he is the master. I've seen the wailers live and he makes your teeth hurt.
20. Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)
Can't stand their music to tell you the truth but his funky bass playing needs credit.