What is great…really?

I just got through watching and listening to some YouTube videos.  I just got it in my head I wanted to hear some great bass players.  After about 30 minutes I just, closed my mouth and resumed breathing.  I used to play a little bass so I have some strong attraction to that instrument.  I heard Victor Wooten, some unfamiliar players, and the god the late Jaco Pastorius.  In these players I saw and heard greatness.  In math “greater than” means more than.  Clearly that’s what these men are …they are more than the average bass player.  They probably had a propensity for the instrument early on, but they certainly invested countless hours in perfecting their craft…and became more than the average player. When I went to see Jaco in concert I knew I was in the presence of greatness.  Not in a groupie kind of way, but in an almost reverential kind of way.  Jaco was what I aspired to be.  His talent made me go home and practice my bass more.  When I saw Stanley Clarke, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, The Jackson Five I knew that they were “more than” me, not as people but as craftsmen.  They put in the work to develop their talent and that talent blazed from the stage.  Part of the allure of concerts back in the day was to see and hear things that I knew I couldn’t do…at least not yet.   These days concerts are more like dance recitals, because that’s usually the only thing actually happening live.  Today’s music is filled with mediocrity.  You can go in...