Business Lessons From A Grammy-Winning Bass Player

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**Have you ever heard of Jerry Jemmott?**
It took me many years of playing the electric bass before I discovered who [Jerry Jemmott]( “Jerry Jemmott”) was… and how important he was to the evolution of the bass and how players approach their instrument. My introduction came around 1987, one year after an instructional electric bass video called, [Modern Electric Bass]( “Modern Electric Bass”), came out. This video features an in-depth conversation and bass lesson with [Jaco Pastorious]( “Jaco”). Pastorious is widely regarded as one of the best players who has ever lived (think of him as the bass players version of [Jimi Hendrix]( “Jimi Hendrix”). He died at the age of 35, but his impact on the instrument is still heard, to this day. In this video, Jerry Jemmott acts as the interviewer, as he prods Pastorious to explain how he developed such a unique playing style. There is a memorable scene when Jemmott asks Jaco who really influenced the development of his playing style. Without missing a beat, Pastorius starts riffing on some of Jemmott’s classic funk bass lines. He talks about how he would listen to the radio, and try to emulate the sounds coming from those [Atlantic Records]( “Atlantic Records”) grooves when he was a kid. He didn’t even know that many of those different songs featured Jemmott’s playing until years later.
**When you’re the influence for one of the influencers.**
Being known as one of Jaco’s main influences is almost as impressive as Jemmott’s discography. The two-time Grammy Award winning bassist was one of the few who could cross genres and play with soul, blues and jazz artists. [B.B. King]( “B.B. King”), [Chuck Berry]( “Chuck Berry”), [Aretha Franklin]( “Aretha Franklin”), [Ray Charles]( “Ray Charles”), and we’re not even beginning to scratch the surface on who Jemmott has played with. It’s quite possible that if you’re listening to radio (terrestrial or satellite) at some point during the day, you will come across a song that he has played on. Not one to sit in the studio playing on other people’s creations, Jemmott also built a substantive career as a solo artists back in 1978, along with becoming involved in film and theater as an arranger and conductor. That work led him to work with [The Boston Pops]( “Boston Pops”), [Bette Midler]( “Bette Midler”) and [John Williams]( “John Williams”).
**But, there’s something more…**
In this video, Jaco and Jerry talk a lot about the idea of endurance. Their perspective reminded me (very much) of the whole [Malcolm Gladwell]( “Malcolm Gladwell”) [10,000 debate]( Endurance is a huge factor in making anything really happen. If you don’t have endurance in your industry/field, you’re never going to make it… even if you are talented. This past week, [No Treble]( “No Treble”) published the second podcast of [Groove – The No Treble Podcast]( “No Treble Podcast”). It’s a podcast that I am hosting as a personal hobby/side project. And, in this episode, [I spend nearly an hour with Jerry]( “Jerry Jemmott”), talking about what he’s working on next, how he got connected to the [Jaco documentary]( “Jaco Documentary”), how he thinks about the bass as an instrument of creativity and invention and this idea of endurance. Enjoy the conversation…
**[Groove – The No Treble Podcast: Episode #2 with Jerry Jemmott](**