Gerald VeasleyView in iTunes
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Born and raised in Philadelphia, Gerald Veasley is an excellent bassist who has played his share of commercial music but definitely has the chops needed for more improvisatory settings. Veasley was exposed to gospel and R&B as a child and went on to play in various R&B bands in West Philly as a teenager in the late '60s and 1970s. Along the way, he discovered jazz and came to appreciate Weather Report and Return to Forever as much as he appreciated Earth, Wind & Fire and Smokey Robinson. Veasley has cited Jaco Pastorius, Anthony Jackson, and Stanley Clarke as his main influences on electric bass, and has named Oscar Pettiford and Paul Chambers as his favorites on the acoustic bass. Having held the music of Weather Report and Pastorius in such high regard, Veasley was delighted when, in 1988, Weather Report co-founder Joe Zawinul hired him as a sideman. Veasley, who stayed with Zawinul until 1995, signed with Heads Up International in the early '90s and recorded his first album for the label, Look Ahead, in 1992 before providing Signs in 1994 and Soul Control in 1997. Veasley continued with the label, issuing the mellow, smooth album Love Letters in 1999, then returned in 2001 with On the Fast Track, an energetic, funk-inflected return to the grooves of his early career. ~ Alex Henderson