“It’s hard to think who the greatest bass players are. You could say Flea, but he doesn’t need the plug!” Jack Bruce on the bass players that shaped his sound

Jack Bruce, Flea, Charles Mingus and Doug Wimbish of Living Colour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bass players don’t come much bigger than the late Jack Bruce. Looking back at his early days with Cream – not to mention his stints with Alex Korner, Graham Bond and the Bluesbreakers – he was one of a short list of pioneers who were challenging the traditional concept of what a bass guitarist could play. Perhaps the best way to sum up his considerable achievements is to note that, alongside his contemporaries Paul McCartney and John Entwistle, Jack Bruce is jointly responsible for the way that the bass guitar is played in modern rock music.

Looking back in 2010, Bruce told BP “I’m strange in a way as I don’t consider myself as a bass player although that’s what I do. I sing, play piano and a bit of acoustic guitar, so I don’t usually buy records because of the bass playing. I suppose The Beatles’ Rain was an influential track, but the biggest influences on me were always the jazz players. 

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.

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