Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)

Photo courtesy of Hot Tuna Com Photo courtesy of Hot Tuna Com

Photo courtesy of Hot Tuna Com

The most stunning aspect of Jean Luc-Goddard’s film of Jefferson Airplane rendering “House at Pooneil Corners” atop a roof in midtown Manhattan on December 7, 1968 – weeks before the Beatles pulled the exact same filmed stunt replete with police intervention on Savile Row in London – is how it accurately captures the massive resonance of Jack Casady’s bass artistry ricocheting off the sooty Gotham skyscrapers on that frigid winter day. At the time Jack was playing a Guild Starfire II bass run through a Versatone amplifier.

Jefferson Airplane “House at Poolneil Corners” New York City https://youtu.be/vuwMEiNg3B8

Akin to his peer Jack Bruce, Jack Casady expanded the harmonic language of the bass with his fearless forays into the instrument’s upper register and his Hendrix-esque use of volume. Casady is essentially a blues man given to experimentation wherein he quotes raga, jazz, and folk – oft times in the same composition. At any given moment, on record or in concert – Jack utilizes an amazing arsenal of walking bass-lines, chords, and counter-melodies that no electric bassist previous to him ever dared.

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Jack’s work with his lifelong collaborator Jorma Kaukonen in Hot Tuna, which is steeped in traditional blues and rag-time in a semi-acoustic / electric setting, is equally groundbreaking in its execution. Hendrix invited Jack to play on Electric Ladyland – it’s a pity Jimi never made a full album with him.

Of all the remarkably progressive and innovative musicians who came to prominence during the psychedelic Summer of Love era – Casady remains among the most revolutionary.

Dig Tony Senatore’s rendition of “Crown of Creation” https://youtu.be/nrM_ba46R3s

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