Born: March 22, 1946 Primary Instrument: Bass, electric
Jemmott began playing the acoustic bass when he discovered Paul Chambers at age 10. Jemmott began his career at age 12, and after switching to the electric bass, was discovered by saxophonist King Curtis in 1966. With his connection through Curtis to Atlantic Records, Jemmott soon began recording with other Atlantic recording artists, including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, The Rascals, Roberta Flack and Margie Joseph. Jemmott also recorded with noted blues artists B.B. King, Freddie King, Chuck Berry, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Champion Jack Dupree, and backed jazz artists Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Erroll Garner, Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Houston Person, George Benson, Archie Shepp, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Mann, Eddie Palmieri and Charles Earland. He played the bass line for the original recording of Mr. Bojangles, and contributed to B.B. King's The Thrill Is Gone.
After Jemmott's recording sessions started to decline in 1975, he continued to work in film and theater as an arranger and conductor, working with John Williams, The Boston Pops and Bette Midler.[clarification needed] Jemmott was cited as a major influence by fellow jazz bass guitar pioneer, Jaco Pastorius, who incorporated Jemmott's stuttering funk basslines into his own syncopated style. Jemmott was also the host and had a hand in the production of the instructional video Modern Electric Bass which featured lessons and guidance by Pastorius and was released in 1985.
Most recently, Jemmott recorded solo recordings for the Japanese P-Vine Records, Caught in the Low Beam and The New York View, as well as Make It Happen! for Whatcha Gonna Do Records. Jemmott continues to work as an educator teaching workshops and clinics, has written articles, four books, and released audio and video bass instruction material. He is the recipient of the 2001 Bass Player magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award and Chairman of the Electric Bass Department at the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists Inc.
As Jerry Jemmott & Souler Energy he has performed a mix of his original Cool Groove songs and music along with his classic hits in addition to presenting his “Soul Kitchen”, improvisation workshops and clinics.
In 2009 Jemmott joined Gregg Allman's backing band (Gregg Allman & Friends) in addition to Cornell Dupree’s Soul Survivors. That same year, he was one of many very special guests at The Allman Brothers Band's 40th anniversary at the Beacon Theatre, in New York City. This was an auspicious special version of the Allman's annual multiple-night stand there, including artists as varied as Levon Helm, members of Phish, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, and Sonny Rollins, amongst the participants, who came in part, to honor the late Duane Allman.