Jerry Jemmott

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Jerry Jemmott
Jemmott at the Beacon Theatre with the Allman Brothers Band, March 23, 2009
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 76)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresSoul, funk, jazz, blues, blues rock
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator
InstrumentsBass guitar, double bass
Years active1958–present
LabelsAtlantic, P-Vine, Whachagonnado?,,

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 eleven after he discovered Paul Chambers. Jemmott began his career at age twelve. After switching to bass guitar, he was discovered by saxophonist King Curtis in 1967.[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, 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 bass line on the song "Mr. Bojangles" and contributed to B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone". Jemmott and Duane Allman would fly down to Muscle Shoals, to record for Atlantic. In 1971 King Curtis recorded his Rhythm & Blues hit, "Live at Filmore West" with Jerry Jemmott, Bernard Purdie, Billy Preston, and other members of the Kingpins. After a near fatal auto accident in 1972, that involved singer Roberta Flack and guitarist, Cornell Dupree Jemmott put up the bass due to the injuries sustained, but would return in 1975 in the midst of the closure of many of the recording studios, due to emergence of compact home recording studios that utilized the syncing of the drum machine with the synthesizer, the precursor to the decline of recording industry and the emerging acceptance of the sound of digital recordings. 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 who incorporated Jemmott's funk bass lines into his own style.[2] Jemmott hosted the instructional video Modern Electric Bass (1985) 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, Seldon Powell, Bernard Purdie, Arlen Roth, and Melvin Sparks. Later he formed 「Jerry Jemmott's The Right Reverend Jakie Neckbone Jubilee Special」[3] 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. That band members were singers Tina Fabrique, Connie Fredericks - Malone, Frankie Paris, Angel Rissoff, Catherine Russell, and Stan Wright. Drummers Tony Thunder Smith, Tom Kaelin, and others. During this period he was also a member of the Jimmy Owens Quartet, who made several trips to Europe, The Middle East and Africa for the U.S State Department, along with Dizzy Gillespie, the Heath Brothers, and Sonny Fortune . The group included guitarist Eric "Fabulous J" Johnson, drummer Daryl Washington, brother of Grover Washington Jr. During this period of creative he got drummer Herb Lovelle out of retirement to record Robert Johnson's music for producers Gene Heimlich and Clark Dimond. The album was called "Incarnation" and it featured vocalist/actor Tucker Smallwood and guitarist Arlen Roth. Holographic guitarist Pat Conte, TC James on keyboards and Jemmott on bass. Of note it was not released until 1994 with non existent exposure, but will emerge in 2019 as The Incarnation Blues Band On Soulitude Records.

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. 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 2006 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. In 2014 he rejoined Aretha Franklin on the David Letterman Show, Rolling in The Deep. He developed a universally recognizable ColorSoundMusic Learning System envisioned by Herb Lovelle that he teaches at his Clinics and Workshops.



  • 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 Nina Simone

With Erma Franklin

With Lorraine Ellison

  • Stay With Me Baby (Warner Bros. Records, 1966)
  • You Don't Know Nothing About Love (Warner Bros. Records, 1966)

With King Curtis

With Carly Simon

With Al Kooper

With Aretha Franklin

With Janis Ian

  • Who Really Cares (Verve, 1969)

With Freddie Hubbard

With George Benson

With Wilson Pickett

  • The Midnight Mover (Atlantic Records, 1968)
  • Hey Jude (Atlantic Records, 1969)

With Gil Scott Heron

With Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper

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

With Candido Camero

With Hank Crawford

With Ben E. King

With Archie Shepp

With Eddie Harris

With Richard Groove Holmes

With B.B. King

With Herbie Mann

With Laura Nyro

With Houston Person

With Shirley Scott

With The Thad Jones & Mel Lewis Orchestra


  1. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. "Jerry Jemmott: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  2. ^ Bill Milkowski: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius. Miller Freeman Books, San Francisco 1995/Backbeat Books 2006, ISBN 0-87930-859-1, p 32.
  3. ^ "The Human Livestock Band & Revue". Retrieved January 19, 2020.

External links[edit]