As the Enlightenment gathered steam toward the end of Bach’s life, such views seemed to many of his colleagues to be outmoded or even a threat, as the product of the very same ancient, superstitious religion that the Enlightenment sought to escape. (There is an amazing book about Bach’s encounter with Enlightenment attitudes if you wish to learn more about this.)
For one, the wonderful basslines of Motown make it easy. And standout players in genres like funk, soul and neo-soul, R&B, and prog rock also make it fun to examine that low-end magic happening just beneath the surface. But throughout the 1960s and ’70s, where the songwriter reigned as king — seconded (if even) only by that of the heaven-descended lead guitarist — bassists were mostly criminally ignored.