Anthony Jackson playing Fender

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by godoze, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Has anyone seen him do it? I have... Saw a concert from 1981 and old Aj was jamming away on a beat up looking old Fender.
  2. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    He called it the "Working Girl" and would tune the bass (still in 4ths) down to C. This was when his 6 string Contrabass was still in the planning/experimenting/building stages.

    EDIT: Oops. I meant "Career girl", not "Working girl".:eek: :rolleyes: (I guess I was thinking of :eek: ).
  3. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    Paul Simon's NY free concert?
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    well sort of.. It was Simon & Garfunkel.

    I forgot how much i liked their stuff.

    Local PBS station ran the concert the other night.

    Steve Gadd was in the band also.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That's AJ on P-bass through a phase shifter on "For The Love Of Money" by the O'Jays. Yes, there was a time when he didn't play 6 before any 6s existed.
  6. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    AJ's Fenders were a stock precision (used on 'For The Love Of Money') which was later tuned down 2 steps and 'Career Girl', which was his main bass during the '70s. It was a Jazz body, stripped back to the wood, with a Precision neck.


    His first six-string was built by Carl Thompson. It had a 34" scale but the string spacing was very tight. A second CT six-string was built with a 44" scale, but AJ complained that it was extremely difficult to play.

    AJ then took his six-string idea to Ken Smith, and eventually ended up at Fodera. The rest is history.

    Is this AJ's Ken Smith bass in this picture?

  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    wow! i didn't know that!

    that's really cool.

  8. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    From a 1990 'Bassplayer' interview:

    When did the idea for a contrabass guitar occur to you?

    As a beginner, I observed proper tuning sequence-fourths-but often brought the entire sequence down a half- or whole-step in order to put certain important bass notes in the lowest possible octave. A typical example would be a song in Eb: Sometimes, especially when playing with bands, I found myself willing to take chances with switching octaves that I might feel too intimidated to attempt when practicing to records. As I progressed, I began consistently observing normal tuning discipline, but I continued feeling constrained when practicing to a particular record whose bass part would drop below low E. The numerous recordings of organist Jimmy Smith were important to me because practicing with them helped give me a firm foundation in swing, but there was one piece, now forgotten, that had an altogether different effect: I heard a significant note, one I simply had to play, that was below my range. I realized by this point that tuning down, while it allowed the note to be played, caused a loss of sonority.

    For one reason or another, I decided I'd had enough of this very unfortunate need to compromise, and an idea that had been hovering just outside of awareness popped forward. That idea was a special instrument with an extra string on the bottom. This was probably 1970. At the time, I did not possess the slightest idea about how to carry this idea further, so I bandied it about for several months, passing up a possible variation in which a low B would be the fourth string while the high G would be eliminated, thus producing a 4-string tuned down a fourth. This meant, however, that I would lose my upper range. Sometime during this period, the idea of simply putting an extra string on the bottom along with an extra string on the top began to sound logical. By the time I began traveling extensively, in 1972, the 6-string extended-range bass guitar had become, for me, an inevitability. Just a few more pieces of the puzzle had to fall into place before the dream could take shape. The most important was the discovery that there were people in the business of building electric guitars to order. I had no idea whether or not they would be amenable to building odd or unusual instruments, but I knew it would do no harm to ask. Other points to be cleared up included finding strings, determining specialized means of amplification and reproduction and, of course, the accumulation of lots of money, along with a backbone stiff enough to be willing to expend this money on an instrument that just might wind up a failure. By 1974, I was ready to search for a builder and begin the unending odyssey with the "big six."

    Many people think that you used a 5- or 6-string bass on those recordings.

    I've never used a 5-string, period. Around the time of Chaka's first solo album [Chaka, Warner Bros., 1978], I resumed the search for an effective 6-string. Remember that the first two instruments had not been successful, despite my using Number One [the Carl Thompson contrabass built in 1975, see photo, page 17] for some recording and touring. In pursuing Number Three, I began discussions with Ken Smith and later Ken Parker, but these went exceedingly slowly, so I did what I could to tide myself over and secure, however awkwardly, a sub-bass range for recording. A little common sense, combined with a willingness to experiment, led me to modify my Fender accordingly. I raised the nut, readjusted the truss rod, and did much bridge-fiddling until the instrument felt manageable when tuned down two whole-steps.

    I remember feeling rather light-headed, sitting at home the night before the third or fourth session for Naughty, modifying the only instrument I was playing at the time, rendering it unsuitable for any standard project. The rashness of my actions strengthened my resolve to keep on pushing for a true contrabass guitar, confirmed by each minute spent hearing this awesome, thundering sound from my poor, abused 4-string come roaring out of the giant Altec monitors in Atlantic's Studio A.
  9. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have a live Buddy Rich album from the early 70's
    with A.J. swinging his ass off with what looks like a Jazz bass.
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    There's a nice pic of AJ playing a Fender Jazz(paint/finish stripped off) on the back cover of Steve Khan/Eyewitness band's Blades.

    ...basically, it looks like the same bass as David's photo above.

    Anyone else besides me scratch their head when learning "My Rival"?
  11. On one Buddy Rich CD there is a photo of AJ playing a Gibson bass probably a Ripper but the photo is dark and lacks some detail.
  12. scatman


    Jun 12, 2003
    I have Grover Washington, Jr, Live In Concert (Philadelphia, 1981), and Anthony's playing his "Career Girl" (the fender Jazz), with an Ampeg (SVT?). Great sound. All of the heavy hitting cats were on this band--Ralph MacDonald, Richard Tee, Paul Griffin, Eric Gale and Steve Gadd. Everyone wanted this rhythym section back in the day. They played with everyone such as Roberta Flack, Paul Simon, Grover, Quincy Jones and even Meat Loaf I believe. Peace.
  13. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I also have this video,and I've yet to see or hear anyone play 'Just the two of us like Athony.Period.
  14. scatman


    Jun 12, 2003
    How 'bout the clips of Dr. J?????