While it’s always nice to geek out over music and music-related stuff, I think this is a weird question; one that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me…
It’s a bit like asking “what is the most useful color?”
You just risk that people will claim the music they like is the most useful or some such very subjective answer.
Maybe it is more useful to ask “what type of bass player is most useful/versatile?” and then study those people!?! Guys like Lee Sklar or Nathan East will be able to play pretty much whatever you throw at them (at least everything you’d consider “mainstream”). How come??
I think as a developing bass player we should explore many genres and techniques, perhaps not in-depth, but at least to a point where you can decide whether this is something you’d want to explore further or not. And, you are likely to learn useful stuff while doing so.
I am trying to learn palm muting right now. I had never quite seen the point or necessity of palm muting (for me and my preferred music), but that was probably narrow-minded. I still don’t particularly care for this technique, but I am willing to give it a shot
if you want to have a good balance of all styles while keeping complex bass lines with high responsibility and profession, I’d recommend you Japanese City Pop. Here are some songs that you’ll love grooving with:
The vibes of the style are sooo good
If you can handle the Bass lines, you are a solid bassist with a good technical Repertoire and a good groove in timing. Give it a try.
No, I didn’t know that guy before (so much I don’t know ) - I guess it would have been someone I would have listened to back in the 90s (at the tailing end of New Wave), but I guess I was already starting to drift further into jazz territory
As to @DLiqacy 's examples: this is soon bringing you into Sade, Erykha Badu and then perhaps to Brand New Heavies and Incognito territory…
Yeah she ticks all the “sultry Jazz singer” boxes, and at the same time has fantastic control of vocal dynamics and a great instinct for when to go off the beaten path. I really like her work that I have heard.