Randy Jackson on his return to Journey, what makes a great bassist, and playing football with James Jamerson and Jaco Pastorius

Randy Jackson
(Image credit: FOX via Getty Images)

Randy Jackson, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1956, doesn’t have the usual bass-player biography. A fusion bassist from his twenties, having got his start with the French jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, he found fame with the AOR giants Journey in 1986. 

This kickstarted a long and prolific session career, whether playing pop hits with artists such as Whitney Houston or complex jazz with Billy Cobham, and he soon expanded his role to production, artist management, and then A&R, where he was a stalwart for many years at Columbia and MCA.

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.