Jerry Jemmott

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Jerry Jemmott
Jerry Jemmott.jpg
Jemmott at the Beacon Theatre with the Allman Brothers Band, March 23, 2009
Background information
Birth nameGerald Stenhouse Jemmott
Born (1946-03-22) 22 March 1946 (age 73)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresSoul, funk, jazz, blues, blues rock
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator
InstrumentsBass guitar, double bass
Years active1967–present
LabelsAtlantic, P-Vine, Whachagonnado?
Associated actsKing Curtis and the Kingpins, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, The Jazz Messiahs.

Gerald Stenhouse Jemmott (born March 22, 1946, in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, New York City) is an American bass guitarist. Jemmott was one of the chief session bass guitarists of the late 1960s and early 1970s, working with many of the period's well-known soul, blues, and jazz artists.[1]


Jemmott, who has won two Grammy Awards as a bassist, began playing acoustic bass at the age of ten when he discovered Paul Chambers. Jemmott began his career at age twelve. After switching to bass guitar, he was discovered by saxophonist King Curtis in 1966.[1] With his connection through Curtis to Atlantic Records, he soon began recording with other Atlantic recording artists, including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, the Rascals, Roberta Flack, and Margie Joseph. He also recorded with B.B. King, Freddie King, Chuck Berry, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Champion Jack Dupree, Mike Bloomfield and accompanied Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Erroll Garner, Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Houston Person, George Benson, Archie Shepp, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Mann, Eddie Palmieri and Charles Earland. He played the bassline on the song "Mr. Bojangles" and contributed to B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone."

After Jemmott's recording sessions started to decline in 1975, he continued to work in film and theater as an arranger and conductor[1] with John Williams and The Boston Pops. He was cited as a major influence by bassist Jaco Pastorius[citation needed] who incorporated Jemmott's funk basslines into his own style. Jemmott hosted the instructional video Modern Electric Bass (1986) which featured advice from Pastorius.

Jemmott began his solo career in 1978, playing jazz, blues, R&B, reggae, and soul as Jerry Jemmott & Souler Energy, a group that over the years included Steve Berrios, Eric Gale, Neal Creque, Patience Higgins, Lou Marini, Kirk Nurock, Seldon Powell, Bernard Purdie, Roger Rosenberg, Arlen Roth, and Melvin Sparks. Later he formed Jerry Jemmott's Right Reverend Jakie Neckbone Jubilee Special and performed a mix of his original "cool groove" songs with his classic hits in addition to presenting his "Soul Kitchen" improvisation workshops and clinics. Members included Tina Fabrique, Charlie Kohlmeyer, Seth Farber, Tom Kaelin, George Naha, Connie Malone, Frankie Paris, Angel Rissoff, Catherine Russell, Herb Rawlings, Stan Wright, and Wally Gator Watson.

Jemmott recorded solo albums for P-Vine Records, Caught in the Low Beam and The New York View, and Make It Happen! for WhatchaGonnaDo Records. He has written articles, books, and released audio and video bass instruction materials.During this period of creative he got drummer Herb Lovelle out of retirement to recordRobert Johnson's music for producer Clark Dimond. The album was called "Incarnation" and it featured vocalist/actor Tucker Smallwood and guitarist Arlen Roth. Pat Conte on guitar, TC James on piano and Jemmott on bass. Of note it was not released until 1994.

He is the recipient of the 2001 Bass Player magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award and Chairman of the Electric Bass Department at the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists.

In 2009 he joined Gregg Allman's backing band ("Gregg Allman & Friends") in addition to Cornell Dupree's Soul Survivors. That same year, he was one of many guests at The Allman Brothers Band's 40th anniversary at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.



  • New York View (P-Vine, 1995)
  • Make It Happen! (Whatchagonnado?, 2005)
  • Home Cookin' (Whatchagonnado?, 2006)
  • Bass on the Case (Whachagonnado?, 2009)
  • Addiction (Whachagonnado?, 2014)

As sideman[edit]

With Candido Camero

With Hank Crawford

With Eddie Harris

With King Curtis

With Richard Groove Holmes

With Herbie Mann

With Houston Person

With Shirley Scott

With Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper

  • Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12–13–68 (Columbia, 2003)

With Aretha Franklin

With George Benson

With Laura Nyro


  1. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. "Jerry Jemmott: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-04-23.

External links[edit]