Bootsy Collins

One name! One icon! With all due respect to Larry Graham, the bassist born William Earl Collins is the foremost funkiest player ever to pick up the instrument – namely the “Space Bass.” His legion of master disciples, including Flea, Prince Roger Nelson and Marcus Miller, to cite a humble few, have certainly expanded on the template set by Bootsy, however to my ears, Mr. Collins reigns supreme with his deft command of rhythm, space, melody, showmanship, and use of mind-bending, shape-shifting effects.  A stellar recording artist, producer, composer, philanthropist, Funk University founder, and multi-instrumentalist, Bootsy’s tenure with James Brown in the original J.B.’s; Parliament Funkadelic; as a bandleader with Rubber Band; and collaborator whose work spans Keith Richards, Material, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, Sammy Hagar, and bluegrass pickers Del McCoury and Doc Watson to reference a select few, has been oft imitated and sampled, yet never surpassed.