“Jerry never does anything just because it’s right to do, he likes to do it because it feels good…” B.B. King. Amen Mr. King! Jaco Pastorious cited Jerry Jemmott aka “The Groovemaster” – as his favorite bassist and mentor. And when you hear (and feel) Jerry’s bass artistry, you can obviously understand why! Jemmott, who was a disciple of Paul Chambers and Charles Mingus, owns “the pocket” while he simultaneously stretches the harmonic boundaries of a composition with exploratory note choices – especially in his voice leading.
Along with the great bassist Chuck Rainey, Jemmott was among Atlantic Records’ most prodigious studio session cats during their golden era – appearing on such landmark recordings by Aretha Franklin (Soul ’69, Aretha Now!, Live at the Fillmore), The Rascals (Freedom Suite, Peaceful World), King Curtis (Live at the Fillmore, Everybody’s Talkin’), and Roberta Flack, plus scores of sides by George Benson (The Other Side of Abbey Road, Tell It Like It Is), Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Janis Ian, Herbie Hancock, Wilson Pickett and Herbie Mann to name a very few.
Jerry hosted Jaco’s Modern Electric Bass video which is essential viewing – and you can see the late, great Mr. Pastorius’ heartfelt admiration and reverence for Jerry in that historic footage. Along with James Jamerson, Carol Kaye, and Chuck Rainey – Jerry Jemmott played a major role in establishing the electric bass in the studio and on the bandstand, and is deserving of Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame recognition!