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Anthony Jackson


alexclaber

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Well, what do y'all think? His pioneering and purist approach? His unique curmudgeonliness? ;) Best recorded performances?

 

I recently discovered (on talkbass) what Anthony plays/records through. This alone terrified me!

 

http://www.fodera.com/gallery/21.jpg

 

The Fodera AJ Contrabass Guitar

 

"This is Anthony's actual bass. It represents the top of our line and features a 5A (very rare) Quitlted Mahogany top on an Alder body, with special sound chambers carved into it. The 36" scale x 28 fret fingerboard is made of our finest 80-year old Brazilian Rosewood. The pickup is handmade by Seymour Duncan exclusively for this model. The top is hand carved, forming a gentle arch. There are no electronics in the bass - just an output jack!"

 

Into:

 

http://www.gearexplorer.com/rc/gearx/HV-3B.jpg

 

Millenia HV-3B Stereo Microphone Preamplifier

 

"Combining a precisely matched octet of discrete bipolar transistors with a laser trimmed DC coupled FET-based output driver stage, the HV-3B is an entirely "double balanced," extremely wide dynamic range stereo microphone preamplifier intended for demanding acoustic recording. Unlike "textbook" mic preamplifiers, the HV-3B signal path never unbalances or rebalances the original signal thus maintaining a high degree of signal integrity. Over 15,000 channels of HV-3B are already in use by a who's-who in critical acoustic recording."

 

Through two of these:

 

http://www.apiaudio.com/ph1_550b_m.jpg

 

API Audio 550B Discrete 4 Band EQ

 

"The 550B's four EQ bands are overlapped significantly to aid in dual roles as problem solver and sweetening device. Each band offers 7 switchable filter frequencies spanning 4 to 5 octaves, selected through experience by a "who's who" list of the industry's most proficient engineers. This re-issue design has been taken from the original blue prints and spec control drawings from the API archives.

 

Making use of "API Proportional-Q", a design introduced by API in the 60's, the 550B intuitively widens the filter bandwidth at minimal settings and narrows it at higher settingswithout the need for additional bandwidth controls. This feature minimizes the "phase-shift" sound found in many equalizers. The reciprocal nature of the 550B enables the user to "undo" what has been done previously.

 

The benefits of the API 550B are most obvious to those who work with EQ on a continuous basis. The 550B's ability to affect or reverse tonal modifications is perhaps the most important feature. If major tonal restructuring is required, the extraordinary headroom made possible with API's 2520 op-amp offers predictable and gentle "analog" performance under duress. With a surprisingly wide range of tonal variations, you can do no better than the API 550B."

 

Purist is the word! I have never seen anyone use any signal chain with such an incredible degree of clarity - you need perfect technique to make this stuff sound good. And the cost? The AJ Contrabass is somewhere around $10k, the Millenia is about $2k and the APIs $1k each. Lucky it's tax deductible for him!

 

For stage monitoring he tends to use Steward World amps into Epifani cabs.

 

And back on the music track - which albums would you recommend to hear him at his best?

 

Alex

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C.Alex, I love this thread already. Where did you find all of this information?

 

Last time I saw AJ, he plugged his bass into a volume pedal that went straight into a Stewart power amp, into a rented Hartke 410 - no eq or preamp. His tone was incredible, the band wasn't bad either.

 

My favorite AJ recordings are with Steve Khan's band Eyewitness. "Public Access","Casa Loco", "Blades" all great CDs.

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Oh man, tnb, you are so right about the Public Access and Casa Loco cds. I listen to them all the time.

 

You'll have to send me a copy of Blades, I've never seen that one. I managed to finally get a copy of Eyewitness by writing Steve Khan. That cd has been out of print for years.

 

Naughty and What cha gonna do for me by Chaka Khan are the albums on which Jackson was given unliminited time to come up with his lines. Check them out.

 

And of course you do know, For The Love of Money by the O'Jays, don't you?

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WOW! that insanely expensive Fodera must have crappy tone if he needs thousands of dollars worth of additional EQ'ing ! :D

 

you MUST get Calle 54 - Horatio " El Negro" Hernandez is an animal, my favorite drummer going now. There are many wonderful performances by other great artists. Paquito D'Rivera's piece is a gem, and Chano Dominguez's spot is amazing.

Anthony is beyond description, anything with Camillo is brilliant - but scares me the most is that he has been playing like that for many, many years- if you are lucky enough to ever run into a copy of Michal ( sp?)l Urbaniak's Fusion III record, in the late seventies, I believe, Anthony is just deadly with Steve Gadd in the thick of ridiculous odd time, balls out chops and out of this world soloing nirvana ! His vocabulary was quite vast even back then..

Praise ye the LORD.

....praise him with stringed instruments and organs...

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.

excerpt from- Psalm 150

visit me at:

www.adriangarcia.net

for His glory

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Agreed! Rush out and get a copy of "Calle 54"...it is amust for all. The Michel Camillo Trio, with AJ and "El Negro" play an amazing piece; all three are way above the crowd in their abilities, concept and conviction to their craft. At the end of their tune in the film, AJ takes a short solo which is among the most definitive examples of what the bass can do in a melodic, rhythmic and harmonic concept. His spontaneous reharmonization of the piece's theme is simply amazing (and inspiring).

 

When I saw this film in a theatre, the audience broke into wild, enthusiastic applause (some giving a standing ovation) for AJ's filmed solo.

 

In short he is bad,bad, bad....

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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Originally posted by tnb:

C.Alex, I love this thread already. Where did you find all of this information?

From the gear detectives at talkbass.com

 

Originally posted by tnb:

C.Alex, any information on what kind of volume pedal he uses?

Ha ha! Just noticed another pic with a clear shot of his volume pedal - it's an Ernie Ball. When I was volume pedal shopping I googled to find what AJ uses but never got an answer - got the EB anyway. :D

 

Alex

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When I last saw AJ, he wasn't using an Ernie Ball. I had an Ernie Ball and hated it, but that certainly is an EB in that photograph.

 

I have been talking to two friends of mine, both are electrical engineers, one is a drummer, the other is a keyboard player. They both tell me that I probably be much happier if I let one of them replace the parts with higher quality components. They said it would be cheap and easy to do. We'll see.

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Around here in NY they've been playing a concert of the Michel Petrucciani Trio (MP, Anthony Jackson, Steve Gadd) when they played in Germany. I think is was recorded a year or two before MP died. Great playing and AJ takes a couple of solos. His concept on the solos is great. For those in the tri-state area the concert gets broadcast about every two months on channel 25 (WNYE).
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  • 2 months later...

Just been listening to my only AJ recording, "What Cha' Gonna Do For Me?" and I'm starting to get into his playing. His timing is incredible and he really finds some great ways to play the grooves. Big fills too!

 

The one thing I'm still not digging though, is his tone, which sounds almost synthy. I'm guessing he was playing his 'Career Girl' (P-bass hybrid in various down-tunings IIRC) and it sounds like it's wearing brand-new strings on every take and being pushing through a BBE maximiser or something. Lots of midrange complexity and growl, with an almost flanged high-end and not a whole lot of bottom despite his penchant for going low. However the whole album suffers from excessively 80's production so maybe it's someone else's stylistic choice.

 

Going back to the timing thing, his playing is almost too perfect to be noticed and appreciated. Is that a good thing?

 

Alex

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Originally posted by C. Alexander Claber:

Just been listening to my only AJ recording, "What Cha' Gonna Do For Me?" and I'm starting to get into his playing. His timing is incredible and he really finds some great ways to play the grooves. Big fills too!

 

The one thing I'm still not digging though, is his tone, which sounds almost synthy. I'm guessing he was playing his 'Career Girl' (P-bass hybrid in various down-tunings IIRC) and it sounds like it's wearing brand-new strings on every take and being pushing through a BBE maximiser or something. Lots of midrange complexity and growl, with an almost flanged high-end and not a whole lot of bottom despite his penchant for going low. However the whole album suffers from excessively 80's production so maybe it's someone else's stylistic choice.

Alex,

 

Go to www.livekrantz.com and download a set of Anthony playing live with the Wayne Krantz trio to hear what he sounds like live in a looser setting. Amazing!

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I saw AJ at BP Live, he received a lifetime acheivment award along with Will Lee. Anthony played with Wayne Krantz (an old bud from Berklee) and they rocked. The room was not forgiving to bass players that night, but AJ's sound came through just fine. It's all in the hands they tell me.

 

Anyway, I got to talk to him briefly, mostly I stammered and sputtered, but I thanked him for his years of writing with BP because he, along with Jeff Berlin were my two biggest influences. You should all try to dig up his old columns from the first few years. He was terrific.

 

Oh yeah, the guy can play.

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Gotta have some Al DiMeola if you want some raging A.J. Start with Elegant Gypsy and work your way through the catalog. "Race With Devil Down Spanish Highway" is worth the price of admission alone.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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There's an old Al DiMeola recording that has some great AJ playing on it - as well as everyone else. I actually had the double ALBUM of it. I have since bought the CD. Do yourself a favor and get "Splendido Hotel" for some very cool and playable AJ bass lines.
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He can't be too much of a purist - his bass has frets :D

 

I saw him twice with Michel Camilo, and many times with others around NYC. Awesome player.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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I've mentioned this on other threads,

 

if you want to hear Anthony Jackson, check out his work with Steve Khan.

 

Public Access (1990) has Steve Khan, guitar, Anthony Jackson, bass, Manolo Badrena, percussion and vocals, and Dave Weckl, drums.

 

Casa Loco (1983) has Steve Khan, guitar, Anthony Jackson, bass, Manolo Badrena, percussion and vocals, and Steve Jordan, drums.

 

Both albums are outstanding and tnb and bassaddik agree with me. :thu:

 

You also might want to check out Donald Fagen's (of Steely Dan) solo album, The Nightfly.

 

It's got a who's who of bassists on it:

Anthony Jackson

Will Lee

Marcus Miller

Abraham Laboriel

Chuck Rainey

 

On the first track, I.G.Y., Jackson plays a reggae tinged bassline that dances around the chord structure in a totally unique way. I doubt that anyone else would ever come up with line like that.

 

I remember reading a Jackson interview once in B.P. where he talked about playing the chorus a little further ahead of the beat than the verse so the song would gain energy at that point.

 

Not too many people are even aware of where they are playing on the beat, never mind being able to change it at will.

 

Yes, the guy is a genius and is outspoken with his strong opinions (although never insulting like some other opinionated people are). He deserves all the credit he gets.

 

And there probably wouldn't be nearly the numbers of people playing six string basses (and playing Fodera basses) if he hadn't been there first.

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