Was ‘Phantazia’ Anthony’s finest hour? Anthony Jackson’s remarkable contributions to our humble instrument are well documented, yet the man and his playing defy categorisation; he has appeared on countless pop records as a sideman, contributing to albums from Chaka Khan, Paul Simon and Steely Dan, while his recordings with pianist Michel Camilo reveal the depth of his knowledge of Latin jazz and his fearless, virtuosic bass playing and advanced harmonic sensibility make him the perfect player for instrumental trio settings with artists such as Steve Khan, Wayne Krantz and Hiromi.
Although Jackson has contributed to a vast number of recordings over the last 40 years, it’s rare that we get to hear him take a solo. Ex-Headhunters drummer Harvey Mason’s ‘Phantazia’ (from 1977’s Funk In a Mason Jar) gives us the opportunity to hear Anthony really let rip – his lines on this track are rhythmically and harmonically complex, as well as being technically difficult to execute at tempo:
This is definitely not for the faint-hearted; a multi-meter fusion nightmare featuring 16th-note unison figures, angular basslines and some heavy rhythmic syncopation. Go slowly and don’t hurt yourself!