“Listen to and lock with the drums. Do that and you’ll sound like a pocket genius!” How session legend Neil Jason put on a slap bass masterclass on David Sanborn’s 1979 instrumental classic Hideaway

David Sanborn performs at the 2016 City Parks Foundation gala at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on June 20, 2016 in New York City.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brooklyn-born Neil Jason’s turn as a first-call New York session bassist coincided with the profession’s peak period for “players” – a time when the studio inner circle was equally adept at jingles and jazz-rock fusion sides. 

Jason was discovered by the Brecker Brothers on his first major date for Gladys Knight, who promptly enlisted him for their band in 1978. Albums with John McLaughlin and Bob James followed before he began permeating the pop charts via platters by Kiss, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Billy Joel, and No. 1 hits ranging from Fame to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

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Chris Jisi was Contributing Editor, Senior Contributing Editor, and Editor In Chief on Bass Player 1989-2018. He is the author of Brave New Bass, a compilation of interviews with bass players like Marcus Miller, Flea, Will Lee, Tony Levin, Jeff Berlin, Les Claypool and more, and The Fretless Bass, with insight from over 25 masters including Tony Levin, Marcus Miller, Gary Willis, Richard Bona, Jimmy Haslip, and Percy Jones.