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Anthony Jackson

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New York City (1952 – present)

Anthony Jackson is a Grammy-nominated American electric player based in New York City. By those who know his playing, musicians and non-musicians alike, he is considered a master, who has furthered the technical and idiomatic boundaries of his instrument. He is seen by many to have added considerable legitimacy to the instrument in more -related musical contexts, though he has had a career that has gone beyond that style.

Born on June 23, 1952, in New York City, Anthony Jackson has been a distinctive voice on the electric bass ever since he entered the scene in New York City. He began learning the piano as a teen before switching to the guitar, and finally picking up the bass after being influenced by legendary bassist James Jamerson. At age 18, Jackson became a working session musician, whose playing was eventually in high demand.

Most musicians familiar with Jackson’s playing know that he has a very particular style. This style can partly be attributed to Jackson’s musical influences. Jackson cites his main influences as James Jamerson — one of Motown’s most prominent bass players and the electric bass’ first virtuoso, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, and Olivier Messiaen.

Jackson initially invented what has now caught on as the “six-string bass,” - a bass guitar tuned B-E-A-D-G-C. His idea, which he called the contrabass guitar, precedes any modern standard six string bass by at least twenty years.

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