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  1. #1

    How James Jamerson became the iconic bass player for Motown Records

    A brief biography of James Jamerson that might be of interest.

    https://bassmusicianmagazine.com/202...otown-records/

  2. #2
    Good read. Thanks for posting.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    A brief biography of James Jamerson that might be of interest.

    https://bassmusicianmagazine.com/202...otown-records/

    good stuff!

    The Miracles' WAY OVER THERE is cited as Jamerson's first Motown recording (playing double bass):



    (river deep mountain high! version 1)

    and
    STRANGE I KNOW is credited as Jamerson's first appearance playing the electric bass:




  4. #4
    Thanks for sharing that article about James Jamerson. I didn't know the The Miracles'
    "Way Over There" was the first session that J.J. had played on (nor did I know that "Strange I Know" was the first time he played electric bass).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Thanks for sharing that article about James Jamerson. I didn't know the The Miracles'
    "Way Over There" was the first session that J.J. had played on (nor did I know that "Strange I Know" was the first time he played electric bass).
    I always thought Jamerson was there from jump street. Didn’t he play on “Money” and Marv Johnson recordings too?

  6. #6
    Thanks Woodward and Boogiedown.Where`s Stubass I hope he`s alright.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Polhill View Post
    Thanks Woodward and Boogiedown.Where`s Stubass I hope he`s alright.
    Hey there Roger... Just noticed this thread... Yes, Jamerson came along a bit later as the first significantly recognized bassist at the fledgling Motown, but before Jamerson a gentleman Clarence Isabel along with a few others were doing most of the Motown sessions...While some obituaries recognize Dr Isabel as one of The Funk Brothers, I would certainly take issues with that as even the concept of the Funk Brothers, regardless of the story of their genesis one chooses to believe, post dates Clarence Isabel and essentially Benny Benjamin and Jamerson and some of the other early guys were there when that idea came along...True Jamerson, like those before him started his Motown career with his familiar upright bass and as the Chili Ruth story seems to be the one that rings true regarding Jamerson's move to the electric bass at a time when the instrument was in it's early use in popular music...The rest is history... https://www.facebook.com/52216046455...0534517381699/

  8. #8
    This may have been discussed before; but here it goes (again). What were some of the first early tracks which Jamerson did at Motown which exhibited his virtuosity? Due maybe to the style of the compositions themselves, a lot of the work prior to 1966, did not really showcase his often intricate bass style. I'm thinking of songs such as, "Reach Out, I'll Be There", and "You Keep Me Hangin On." Although some would mention, "You Can't Hurry Love", I would say that, while it is a catch bass line, it's doesn't involve intricate, unexpected riffs.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    This may have been discussed before; but here it goes (again). What were some of the first early tracks which Jamerson did at Motown which exhibited his virtuosity? Due maybe to the style of the compositions themselves, a lot of the work prior to 1966, did not really showcase his often intricate bass style. I'm thinking of songs such as, "Reach Out, I'll Be There", and "You Keep Me Hangin On." Although some would mention, "You Can't Hurry Love", I would say that, while it is a catch bass line, it's doesn't involve intricate, unexpected riffs.
    Actually, even some of his early upright lines like My Guy, Heatwave, and Baby Love gave us a hint of what was to come...The Precision gave him more freedom to display his heavily syncopated style, yet he rarely strayed from 1st position other than on the G string (even on the Fender), as he used upright technique on the P, which was unique and unusual, particularly as relates to "the hook" his one finger style of plucking...

  10. Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    This may have been discussed before; but here it goes (again). What were some of the first early tracks which Jamerson did at Motown which exhibited his virtuosity? Due maybe to the style of the compositions themselves, a lot of the work prior to 1966, did not really showcase his often intricate bass style. I'm thinking of songs such as, "Reach Out, I'll Be There", and "You Keep Me Hangin On." Although some would mention, "You Can't Hurry Love", I would say that, while it is a catch bass line, it's doesn't involve intricate, unexpected riffs.
    Some of the pre '66 Motown songs with killer James Jamerson bass lines have to include Hattie Littles' "Love, Trouble, Heartaches and Misery" ('64). James does mind-bending things on that one. Actually, the interplay between James and Benny is so astonishing, I still refuse to believe these men were mere mortals.

    Another is Carolyn Crawford's "I'll Come Running" also from '64 and another showcase for James's and Benny's "hide-n-seek" style. James does all kinds dips and swoops and these sort of fake-out notes.

    An earlier one, unless I'm wrong, is Steve Wonder's "Little Water Boy" The bass HAS to ve James or else it's someone who was incredibly close to his style.

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