What’s the Deal?
Hi, it’s Jack here. The guy who is not Neil Jason. See the “About Us” section on the site. I am stunningly handsome (at least my wife says so).
Anyway, I thought we would try something which is either going to be brilliant or catastrophic on the order of New Coke.
During one of the many “bass dork” conversations I was having with Neil (which only another bass player could find remotely interesting) one thing I was lamenting was that there were not as many reference points to explore music’s past as there once were. An example:
As a young boy I fastidiously read any and all publications about music. It was pretty much an all-consuming passion and when I wasn’t practicing or playing music, I was reading about it. Cream, Musician, International Musician, Guitar Player, Guitar World etc.
One publication on the reading list was Hit Parader. (An aside, to the best of my knowledge Hit Parader was the first US publication to run a feature on a New Wave band out of England called The Police and their charismatic singer/bassist named Sting. I wonder what happened to those guys, they seemed to have some potential.)
Anyway, Hit Parader had a feature where they would ask three musicians their favorite 10 albums. Keep in mind, this was before the internet, social media, etc. Basically, I would see what my musical heroes listened to and if I saw the same album appear enough times I ran out and bought it. Often, sight unseen sound unheard. Such was the case with Jeff Beck’s masterpiece “Blow by Blow”. Again, it wasn’t getting played on my local top 40 radio in El Paso, Texas so I had no idea what to expect. After coming to the realization there were no vocals on this album, I immediately concluded this was AN INSTRUMENTAL album. It only took me listening to all of side 1 to figure that out. I was an astute kid.
Point being, with no real musical network to speak of no telling how long it would have taken to find this amazing record. I discovered a lot of great music via the Hit Parader top 10 list, and I am sure a lot of other people did to.
So…. With Neil’s patience and friendship, we are going to try something, which hopefully, adds some joy to your life. We are going to start posting albums in this section of our website that, we feel, are great and important and why they were important to us. This is going to be an ongoing process as we have a MASSIVE list of albums to bring forth and discuss.
This is not trying to be a definitive BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME sort of thing. I’ll leave that to Rolling Stone magazine (spoiler-Sgt. Pepper will ALWAYS be #1).
We are not going to exclusively focus on bass-centric music, although there will be a lot of that. We are going to keep a very wide and eclectic range of artists and music that influenced us. If it’s not your thing, that’s cool, but keep an open mind. This list is eventually going to have everyone from Miles Davis to Motorhead, James Brown to Kiss, Earth Wind and Fire to Judas Priest, Willie Nelson to Billie Eilish, The Gaslight Anthem to Mark Anthony-you get the idea.
The point is, even with the internet and all the available information, is anyone really digging to check out the “real” deal? When was the last time you listened to Keith Jarrett’s “The Koln Concert” or Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”? Good stuff! Trust me, it really can take the edge off the day.
Which brings us to the “Full Disclosure” portion of this epic tome. Neil Jason is a humble guy. If it were not for my incessant fan-boy questions “What was it like working with……” (I ask about Steve Gadd a lot, why not.) Neil wouldn’t talk much about his past accomplishments which, by any standard, are amazing. That being said, a good number of albums that will be discussed Neil will have played on. And we will note that.
So, the basic format will be, we present an album. I will make my comments, Neil will make his comments and hopefully you are inspired to check out said album if you have not already done so. Sort of completing the circle of life.
Feel free to drop us your thoughts or suggestions as you wish.