Songs with Jamerson basslines, does your band play them?
So, I've been learning some Jamerson basslines, because I love the songs, and the basslines are fun to play and challenging. I realized though, that we don't play any of these songs in either band I play in, and probably never will without a horn section. Could get away with some with keyboards I suppose.
Anyway, I was just wondering if any of you do play any songs with Jamerson lines in them, and if so, which ones, and how well do you pull them off without a horn section?
Yeah, I didn't think anybody did.
Lots and lots of people cover stuff he played on. Getting the horn section or sounding exactly like the album isn't important. You'd have to have all world class players in your band for that. What is important is everyone getting the feel and filling in the spaces left by the missing horns, and working with what you got, not what you want. That's not easy to do, and takes a whole lot of musicianship.
Most people who cover his stuff, or Marvin Gaye, or Temptations or whatever, fall short on the feel, even if they have a horn section. Fortunately, pretty much all of the audience doesn't care. They just want to sing along with the chorus of "My Girl" or dance to "Heard it Through the Grapevine."
Hey, thanks for the reply. Yeah, I agree with you. Sure would be fun to do with horn section and harmony vocals though!
I do several Jamerson songs... I can't say I play it note for not, but I definitely cop the feel. I play with a horn section, so that makes it very dynamic. We do "My Girl", "Get Ready" (not sure if that's him), "What's Going On", "Signed Sealed Delivered" (not sure if that is him either.) We do lots of stuff from that era, so it makes things fun for me. Jamerson is tricky and even the simplest tunes are challenging. I agree that most of the time the audience doesn't notice/care, but we still have to feel good. :)
*(Your Love Keeps lifting me) Higher and Higher, Jackie Wilson
*Come See about Me, Supremes
*Heard it through the Grapevine (Gladys Knight, Jamerson on this version is even better than his Marvin Gaye one)
*Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Stevie Wonder
*Cool Jerk, Capitals
*Standing in the Shadows of Love, Four Tops
*Don't Mess with Bill, Marvelettes? (I think this is one of the earlier records he was on playing upright bass)
All really fun songs to do on the bass.
'Grapevine' and 'Standing' have a few bass passages I've yet to master but even slightly dumbing down those parts, the bass lines are still super busy and funky.
Once you get in the Jamerson groove, it's a great feeling and carries over to your other non-Funk Bros. songs.
Those are some fun ones to play on, I agree. Do you have a horn section? If not, do you just leave out those parts, or try to fill in with keys and/or guitar?
That Jamerson groove is fun and challenging. But, like you say, I have found that working on it has helped out in other songs as well.
And, although I agree that most in the audience aren't going to know if you are playing it in the style of Jamerson or close to it, we know, and that's part of the fun of it for me.
Thanks again for the replies :)
Not to start a debate, but I have found that people care more about your song selection than how close to the original recording you play. Not that they don't want to hear a horn section and three background singers, but if you play a good version of the song, people will like it. I played in a band that did a lot of old Motown with guitar, bass, drums and singer for seven years. We played as much as we wanted and usually made $100 each per night. YMMV.
Rare Earth's cover is not him & is different during the choruses.
For "What's Goin' On"...I really wanted to stick it (shedded with the record & the SITSOM book/transcription). Of course, certain nights, the guy doin' the vocals wanted it down a whole step...so that was that.
Anyway, these songs can be arranged & pulled off in a variety of ways. Years ago (1980s), there was a local band doing something called "Beach Reggae". A drummer friend used to joke about this...until we actually caught them playing outside @the Va. Beach boardwalk. They busted out a version of "Tears Of A Clown"...way uptempo. At that time, it was like OMG, this is "Beach Reggae"!!! Knowing more now...it was actually Ska.
(I assume the guys in the band, youngsters, thought Motown = Beach music). Anyway, it kicked ass.
"Inner City Blues"? Cool cover by Brian Auger's Oblivion Express. It's on his Closer To It album. IIRC, this is a 4-tet (Organ-Bass-Drums-Guitar).
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