I’m currently doing some research for an upcoming article here on jazz bassists who have made noteworthy contributions to the music as composers. Obvious examples are Charles Mingus, Dave Holland and Jaco Pastorius, all of whom have penned significant tunes that are a permanent part of the modern jazz repertoire. I’m sticking with jazz here so I will not delve into the pop/rock songwriting category, which would have to include such bassists as Paul McCartney and Sting. I’m also going to leave out folks like Edgar Meyer (IS there anyone else like him?) – classical, folk, country, bluegrass and crossover composers. Those great bass players could be the subject of another piece.
In the meantime, my list of bassist/composers includes: Ben Allison, John Patitucci, Steve Swallow, David Friesen, Drew Gress, William Parker, Stanley Clarke… I am including electric bass players and the wide variety of genres that commonly come under the heading “jazz”.
Please add your suggestions as a comment here. I hope to have this piece done within a couple of weeks.