The recent birthday of Leroy Elliot "Slam" Stewart (b. 9/21/14) reminded me what a virtuoso bass player can do with a bow and how few such players there have been. In fact, I can count them on three fingers, Slam Stewart, Major Holley and Paul Chambers.
Slam may be most well-known as half of "Slim and Slam," with singer/pianist/guitarist Slim Gaillard, a popular musical act that straddled swing/bop and early R&B. Here's "Tutti-Frutti," a 1938 example of their style, and of Slam's throwaway bowing virtuosity:
In that tune, Slam does just a bowed solo, but in this well-known 1945 version of "I Got Rhythm" with tenor Don Byas, he's in full voice, singing both in unison and in harmony with his complicated bass lines:
Finally, here are Slam and Major together, with a parodic version of "Close Your Eyes." After this primer, you should be able to tell who goes first and who goes second:
The chronological pattern established by these 3 guys says that someone born in 1944 or 45 should have been the next link in the chain, but I don't think any bass player has arisen to advance the art of arco playing since Chambers, who died in 1969. I welcome further elucidation on the topic by my erudite readership.