Courtesy of Pearl Jam Com
By Thomas Semioli
“I have to be able to feel the bass. I’ve worked hard with our producers to make sure that when you play our records on your stereo, you can feel the bass. You might not necessarily be able to hear it all the time, but if you turn it up you can feel the movement in the low end—that it’s moving the song. And when it’s not there, it should be creating a dynamic…” As told to Karl Coryat in Bass Player magazine.
Jeff Ament anchored three of the most influential bands of the 1990s alternative rock era: Mother Love Bone, Temple of the Dog, and Pearl Jam.
At the age of 20, Jeff bolted from small town Montana to Seattle where he fell in with like-minded players. He cut his first record with Green River, a collective which also featured future Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard. Seeking more of a commercial sound, Ament co-founded Mother Love Bone (with Gossard) which waxed one side before their singer Andrew Wood succumbed to a drug overdose. Ament’s next ensemble Temple of the Dog with Gossard and singer Chris Cornell was conceived as a tribute to the late, influential Wood. This is where Eddie Vedder came into the picture – duetting on a track with the Soundgarden crooner and rendering backing vocals. Following TOD ‘s sole album release, Ament, Gossard, Mike McCready, Vedder, and drummer Dave Abbruzzse came together as Pearl Jam, and the rest, as they say, is history….
A songwriter, solo recording artist, and multi-instrumentalist Ament is, to my ears, a combination of his influences, namely Paul McCartney, Dug Pinnick, Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith), and John Entwistle. Adept at melodic and pocket playing, Ament is an adventurous player – employing a wide array of instruments (fretted, fretless, extended range) and tones as befits the singer and the songs.
Ament also dabbles on upright – embracing a punk ethos with the core elements of swing, rhythm and blues, and classic hard rock.
In 2011 luthier Mike Lull produced a Jeff Ament Signature bass.
Jeff Ament Sound & Vision
With Green River:
With Mother Love Bone:
With Pearl Jam
Jeff Ament Solo: