Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to a King of Bass

James Jamerson expand the idea of bass support for pop, rock, funk and jazz music. With one finger (The Hook), he opened the door to a rhythmic and tonal wonderland. His lines are classic and his feel was timeless. His influence on my bass playing is enormous. His bass gave Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On and Mercy, Mercy Me their breathless earthy quality. Go back and listen to the Motown before the move to LA and focus on the bass. Plus, rent Standing in the Shadows of Motown. You will understand why James Jamerson is Funk Brother #1. He would have been 73 today. Here is a sample clip of James with the great Marvin Gaye: