Jerry Jemmott’s groove is the bedrock of B.B. King’s career defining hit, “The Thrill is Gone.” He was in the studio with Duane Allman and Wilson Pickett recording “Hey Jude,” a track that was instrumental in launching Duane’s musical career; and they were together again for Herbie Mann’s Push Push (Atlantic, 1971), Duane’s first and only jazz sessions, and the last full album he recorded prior to his death. He was also there on December 13, 1968, when Mike Bloomfield called an unknown Johnny Winter, up onstage at the Fillmore East—a Friday the 13th that turned out to be Winter’s lucky day.
He was with singer Aretha Franklin when she conquered San Francisco’s hippie community at the Fillmore West in March of 1971.
Jerry Jemmott’s blues credits are truly remarkable: in addition to B.B. King, Freddie King, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks, there’s his legendary association with Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and King Curtis. And of course there’s his collaboration with Jaco Pastorius.
In this extensive interview Jerry speaks about all this, as well as his wide-ranging session work for Atlantic Records, and his current gig with blues/rock legend Gregg Allman.