South Carolina Hall of Fame: Help Get Jamerson Inducted…Sign the Petitions Today!

Dear Jamerson Enthusiasts, Anthony McKnight (JJ first cousin) is working to get James Jamerson inducted into his birth state of South Carolina’s Hall of Fame and we can help! His statement below: My name is Anthony”Ant”McKnight, I’m James Jamerson’s 1st cousin from Charleston, S.C. I am very very serious about getting my Cousin into the … Continue reading

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Stevie Wonder – “You Met Your Match” Transcription

For all you Jamerson aficionados out there — if you do not own Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life LP, you have been missing out. The Funks were Little Wonder’s music tutors and some of the hippest tracks they ever cut were on his mid to late 60s records. Uptight, I Was Made To Love … Continue reading

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Isolated Jamerson

Transcribing Jamerson can be a difficult task. Even though the bass is often mixed as upfront as the vocal lines, there is almost always that moment where you would give anything to hear Jamerson’s line a little clearer. You ask yourself questions like, “Was that an open A or an Ab or the bass drum … Continue reading

Save the Babies!: Marvin Gaye’s Save the Children 1971 (Album Version Bass Transcription)

Jamerson frequently tugs against the meter by superimposing a duple feel against the 12/8 groove. The opening four bars exemplify this rhythmic tension release pattern. One of my favorite moment on this record is when the walking line in m. 48 ignites the full blown walk that explodes with the drummer in m. 49 with … Continue reading

Save the Children Art

Save the Children LIVE 1973 (Coda) – Jamerson Transcription

Here is a transcription of the Coda section of Save the Children, where the groove has shifted from 12/8 to 4/4. Save the Children – Bass Transciption (Standard Notation)

Jamerson Live

The Hook in Action: Jamerson Live with Martha Reeves & the Vandellas

Just stumbled across this the other day. Martha Reeves live on Don Kischner’s Rock Concert (1974) being backed by non other than Mr. Jamerson. Extra special moment at 6:10. The entire concert is available here:  http://www.historicfilms.com/tapes/13999 Would love to see this whole show someday, but unfortunately the membership fee is beyond my financial means. 

What’s Happening Brother Jamerson Bass Transcription of the Week

Last week’s transcription was a live, 1973 performance of What’s Happening Brother. This week I wanted to compare and contrast the live performance with the original 1971 version from Marvin Gaye’s Whats Going On album. Jamerson’s ability to create variations on bassline motives and progressions is unlike any other bass player. Check out his comping … Continue reading

What's Happening Brother (Live) The "Hook" in action

Part II: Marvin Gaye’s What’s Happening Brother (Live)

Part II of the Marvin Gaye medley – What’s Going On/Whats Happening Brother, this weeks Jamerson bass transcription features the second half of Gaye’s performance. What’s Happening Brother from the 1972 Save The Children album/film. Please note in bar 104 it sounds as though Jamerson might be playing D naturals over a Bb minor chord. … Continue reading

What's Happening Brother (Live) The "Hook" in action

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On (Live) – Jamerson Transcription of the Week

There is a video floating around the internet of Marvin Gaye Performing Whats Going On/What’s Happening Brother live with none other than James Jamerson backing him. This footage from the 1973 film, Save The Children, gives a rare glimpse of Jamerson’s “hook” technique in action. This weeks transcription is Jamerson’s line from the What’s Going … Continue reading

Standing In The Shadows Of Love Bass Transcription

Standing In The Shadows Of Love – Jamerson Transcription of the Week (Standard Notation & Tab)

Here is Jamerson’s line on the 1966 Four Tops hit, “Standing In The Shadows Of Love.” I’ve only provided the first run through the form, but you can see here how Jamerson uses the open strings to tackle shifting from one position to the next and his use of rakes to deal with string crossings … Continue reading

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