Anthony Jackson (musician)

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Anthony Jackson
Anthony Jackson.jpg
Background information
Birth name Anthony Claiborne Jackson
Born (1952-06-23) June 23, 1952 (age 61)
Origin New York, New York U.S.
Genres Jazz, fusion, R&B, funk
Instruments Bass guitar, contrabass guitar
Years active 1970–present

Anthony Jackson, (June 23, 1952) is a Grammy-nominated American electric bass guitar player based in New York City.[1]

Biography[edit]

Anthony Jackson has been a distinctive voice on the electric bass since entering the scene in New York City. He began playing the piano as a teen before switching to the guitar, and finally picking up the bass after being influenced by legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson (see "Influences" below).

Jackson is a student of Jerry Fisher, Lawrence Lucie, and Pat Martino. He has performed live in more than 30 countries, and has recorded in more than 3000 sessions on more than 500 albums. His bass introduction for the O'Jays' "For The Love Of Money" (on their classic album Ship Ahoy) earned him a co-writer's credit on the song alongside Gamble & Huff. [2]

In 2010, Jackson released his first leader album, INTERSPIRIT, with Greek bassist Yiorgos Fakanas from Abstract Logix.

Six String Bass[edit]

Jackson, in 1978 touring the Netherlands with Al Di Meola

Jackson invented the “six-string bass”, - a bass guitar tuned B-E-A-D-G-C. His idea, which he called the contrabass guitar, precedes any modern standard six-string bass by at least twenty years.[citation needed]

Jackson said that the idea for adding more strings to the bass guitar came from his frustration with its limited range. When asked what he thought of criticism of the six-string bass, Jackson replied:

“Why is four [strings] the standard and not six? As the lowest-pitched member of the guitar family, the instrument should have had six strings from the beginning. The only reason it had four was because Leo Fender was thinking in application terms of an upright bass, but he built it along guitar lines because that was his training. The logical conception for the bass guitar encompasses six strings.”

.[citation needed]

Jackson first approached various luthiers in 1974 about the construction of his idea, and Carl Thompson built the first six-string for Jackson in 1975 (an instrument currently owned by Les Claypool of Primus). He later switched to basses built by Fodera, and began playing the six-string bass exclusively in 1981.

Jackson initially played the guitar, and studied with renowned jazz guitarist Pat Martino. But as he put it,

“I continued playing standard as well as bass guitar until 1968, when I was forced to admit that my standard guitar playing should be quietly put to death.”

.[citation needed]

Style & influences[edit]

Jackson always plays sitting down. He cites his main influences as James Jamerson, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, and French composer Olivier Messiaen. Jamerson’s influence on Jackson is perceptible to anyone familiar with both players, particularly on Jamerson tracks like “How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone?” by Diana Ross and The Supremes, where the use of arpeggiation and passing notes for simultaneous chordal and rhythmic expression are telltale.[citation needed]

Jackson was also influenced by Jack Casady. As Jackson said in a 1990 interview in Bass Player magazine.

“Casady, whom I'd first heard on Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow album in late 1966, had a big, rich, metallic sound with a full bottom and a curious, guitaristic way of playing that I was immediately drawn to. When I saw him perform live, I was struck by his dignity and serious mien. It was Casady's sound that kept me exploring the expressive possibilities of using the pick. To this day, when I use one and a flanger, Casady's influence emerges and can be clearly detected by an aficionado.”[citation needed]

.[citation needed]

Jackson’s other major influence is Olivier Messiaen, whose music changed his life “irrevocably and forever”.[citation needed] It was Messiaen’s organ suite “La Nativité du Seigneur” that so impressed Jackson that he remarked:

“I hear the tritone as the central interval on which to build harmonies and melodies, as opposed to the major or minor third… The tritone interval has been extremely important to me from the first day I heard Messiaen playing his own music on organ.”[citation needed]

.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Lalo Schifrin

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hogan, Ed (1952-06-23). "Anthony Jackson". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  2. ^ The liner note from album "INTERSPIRIT" 2010, Abstract Logix, LBLX020

External links[edit]