Upright Bass: The Musical Life & Legacy of Jamil Nasser
Muneer Nasser, author
George Joyner, Jamil Sulieman, and Jamil Nasser are three names that appear on the records of Phineas Newborn, Lou Donaldson, Ahmad Jamal, Red Garland and many more. These three names identify one jazz bassist, composer, and jazz advocate, who made an indelible mark in the jazz world for over fifty years. Upright Bass chronicles his evolution from a young bassist on Beale Street to a top-flight bassist on the New York Jazz scene. Miles Davis harbored curiosity about the environment that produced Jamil and three Memphis musicians he hired in 1963. Nasser's narrative captures the untold stories of two piano giants Phineas Newborn and Oscar Dennard. He also shares anecdotes about his mentors: Papa Jo Jones, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Oscar Pettiford, and Ray Brown. Moreover, Jamil describes his decade long tenure with Ahmad Jamal, which included a life-threatening imprisonment in South America. Finally, we learn about his plight as an outspoken jazz artist fighting for greater union representation, the perils of heroin addiction in the music industry, media access, healthcare, and self-ownership.