Was it James Jamerson or Carol Kaye? The new issue of Bass Player sheds light on the decades-old controversy

Bass Player 412
Bass Player 41 (Image credit: Future)

Bass Player's new issue is out, and it's a must-read for anyone into the low end!

We bass players pride ourselves on acknowledging the pioneers of our instrument, and giving credit where it’s due. Just take a look at any ‘Greatest Bassist’ poll of the last few years: a large portion of the results will be devoted to bassists from the Sixties and Seventies, and quite rightly so. So why has there been so much confusion when it comes to the legacies of James Jamerson and Carol Kaye, surely the archetypes of our instrument? In this issue, we examine a long-standing debate over which of these great bassists played on which Sixties hit songs at the Motown stable. Our conclusions respect each bass player’s unparalleled contribution to our world, and some welcome clarity is gained in doing so. That’s our job, after all.

Bass Player 412

(Image credit: Future)

Elsewhere, we enjoy hugely entertaining quality time with a huge range of bassists, from the classic to the current and back again. Meet Jim Creeggan of Barenaked Ladies, rock royalty Wolfgang Van Halen, TV star-turned-bassist Malcolm-Jamal Warner and gospel veteran Robin Bramlett, for starters. We also sit down with the great Mike Watt, we bring you Charles Mingus and Squarepusher news, we salute Lemmy, and we zero in on four brand-new bass players for whom the future is very bright.

Gear-wise, we get a first look at Stanley Clarke’s new Spellcaster bass, we road-test Enfield and Warwick instruments, and we plug into two new Ampeg combos. Looking for bass lessons? Look no further, with our elite team joined this month by the acclaimed Rich Brown.

Get the new issue from Magazines Direct (opens in new tab).

Enjoy this issue, and stay in the groove!

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.