Anthony Jackson is the bass players’ bassist.
I subconsciously think of him in a class above world class. For me, he’s always been there. A consummate perfectionist, his bass lines have graced many popular widely known songs, yet very few would actually know that it was Jackson playing bass on the recording. An example of this is “For The Love Of Money” – The O’ Jays
Anthony Claiborne Jackson was born on 23 June 1952 in New York. He started playing music on the piano before switching to guitar and studied with renowned jazz guitarist Pat Martino. He eventually switched to bass after being influenced by legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson. Jackson pioneered what is now called the six string bass – a bass guitar tuned B-E-A-D-G-C which he called the Contrabass Guitar. He was using this 20 years before any modern standard six string bass was commercially produced.
So here’s the 5 knockout Anthony Jackson bass performances.
1. Hiromi The Trio Project – “Alive” (live in the studio)
Hiromi Uehara, known professionally as Hiromi, is a jazz composer and pianist born in Hamamatsu, Japan. Mentored by the legendary Ahmad Jamal, the Japanese pianist/composer has created music that grows with every performance, moves easily beyond stylistic genres, exhibits an awareness of the entire jazz tradition and adapts to the contributions of her fellow bandmates.
Her ninth CD as a leader, “Alive”, heralds the return of Hiromi’s Trio Project, featuring contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson (Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Michel Camilo, The O’Jays and Chick Corea) and drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour and Jack Bruce). This terrific triad, which DownBeat magazine proclaimed as “one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today,” first formed in 2011 and recorded their first CD, Voice, that same year.
2. Michel Camilo – New York Band – “Not Yet”
Michel Camilo All Star New York Big Band from “Live in Altos de Chavón” concert. Video directed by Academy award winning director Fernando Trueba.
Michel Camilo – Piano
Anthony Jackson – Bass
Cliff Almond – Drums
Guarionex Aquino – Percussion
Jon Faddis – Trumpet
Michael Mossman – Trumpet
Ron Tooley – Trumpet
Virgil Jones – Trumpet
Dave Bargeron – Trombone
Ed Neumeister – Trombone
William Cepeda – Trombone
David Taylor – Bass Trombone
Chris Hunter – Alto Sax
Alex Foster – Alto Sax
Ralph Bowen – Tenor Sax
Lou Marini – Tenor Sax
Gary Smulyan – Baritone Sax
3. International Solo Bass Competition 2005, feat. Wooten, Bailey, Jackson & Bissonette
Coastal Carolina University hosts the first annual International Solo Bass Competition. This one features bassists Steve Bailey, Victor Wooten, and Anthony Jackson with drummer Gregg Bissonette.
4. Michel Camillo | Anthony Jackson | Dave Weckl – Jazz Festival Madrid 1993
This video recording of the full concert (1:45:37) featuring Michel Camillo on piano, Anthony Jackson on contrabass guitar and Dave Weckl on Drums.
5. Anthony Jackson bass w/ Dizzy Gillespie 1990 – “Wamba”
Anthony shows his Latin Jazz side on the tune “Wamba” (written by Salif Keita). Featured: Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet and percussion), Phil Woods (alto sax – R.I.P. 1931- 2015), Bob Berg (tenor sax), John Scofield (guitar), Tito Puente (percussion) Airto (percussion), Marvin “Smitty” Smith (drums), Flora Purim (vocal). Recorded in 1990.
Bonus Videos – Some of Anthony Jackson Popular Music Recordings
Chaka Khan – “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me”
Donald Fagen – “I.G.Y”
The International Geophysical Year (IGY) was an international scientific project that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. Sixty-seven countries participated in IGY projects which encompassed eleven Earth sciences including: geomagnetism, gravity, ionospheric physics, longitude and latitude determinations (precision mapping), meteorology, oceanography, seismology, and solar activity.
In the end, the IGY was a resounding success which inspired Donald Fagen’s famous lyrics:
- “What a beautiful world this will. What a glorious time to be free”
- “Ninety minutes from New York to Paris”
- “Here at home we’ll play in the city, Powered by the sun”
More about “The Nightfly” album – Musician Credits
Donald Fagen – “Ruby Baby”
Chaka Khan – “I Know You, I Live You”
Anthony Jackson Interview – I won’t let myself be outplayed by machines!
Very interesting 1992 interview of legendary bassist Anthony Jackson talking about how the machinery world is trying to take over.
Quote from the video: “I’m old fashioned, and very idiolistic about that. My feeling is, I’ll outplay anybody using the machine or i’ll die. I don’t care. The day that the machine outplays me they can plant me in the yard with a corn, and I mean it, I’m very serious. I will not permit myself to be outplayed by someone using the machine. I’m just not gonna permit that.”
Further Reading and References:
- Wikipedia Bio of Anthony Jackson
- More about Contrabass guitar on Wikipedia
- Anthony Jackson Discography
- Anthony Jackson Presentation Contrabass Guitar at Fodera