Jerry Jemmott- The Groovemaster
I got into JJ when I was a Pastorius-obsessed kid. I read an interview where Jaco claimed that he was merely a ‘bad Jerry Jemmott imitation’ and I scrambled to find whatever recordings I could. He is truly one of the all-time greats on the electric bass. He has that perfect Fender sound and the idiosyncratic, funky stagger that just makes every track he plays on feel like a million bucks.
Jerry in the studio with Duane Allmann and Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler.
I go back again and again to my copy of Freddie King’s ‘My Feeling For The Blues’ (containing great Donny Hathaway horn arrangements.) It is a great transitional record blending the blues and soul in a way that I have always dug. BB King’s Live and Well runs a close second but there is a real soulful, gritty elegance about this LP that has always hit home for me.
There are many great Jemmott tracks to check out from the classic King Curtis LP’s to what I consider to be the greatest live soul record ever: ‘Aretha Live at The Filmore.’ It’s not just limited to the Atlantic soul era either- Jerry has been active and doing the good work his entire career- he currently is a member of The Greg Allman band. But here’s an older one I only just recently found myself: The Voices Of East Harlem. Ebay vinyl is on the way!