Jerry Jemmott was one of the chief session bass guitarists of the late 1960s and early 1970s, working with many of the period's well-known soul, blues, and jazz artists. Jemmott, who has won two Grammy Awards as a bassist, began playing acoustic bass at the age of ten when he discovered Paul Chambers. Jemmott began his career at age twelve. After switching to bass guitar, he was discovered by saxophonist King Curtis in 1967.With his connection through Curtis to Atlantic Records, he soon began recording with other Atlantic recording artists, including Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, the Rascals, Roberta Flack, and Margie Joseph.
He also recorded with B.B. King, Freddie King, Chuck Berry, Otis Rush, Champion Jack Dupree, Mike Bloomfield and can be heard on recordings of Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Erroll Garner, Les McCann & Eddie Harris, George Benson, Archie Shepp, Herbie Mann, Eddie Palmieri and Charles Earland. He played the bass line on the song "Mr. Bojangles" and contributed to B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone." In1971 King Curtis recorded his Rhythm 'n Blues hit, "Live at Filmore West" with Jerry Jemmott, Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, Billy Preston, and other members of the Kingpins. After a near fatal auto accident in 1972, that involved singer Roberta Flack and guitarist, Cornell Dupree, Jemmott put up the bass due to the injuries sustained, but would return in 1975 in the midst of the closure of many of the recording studios and continued to work in film and theater as an arranger and conductor. He was cited as a major influence by bassist Jaco Pastorius who incorporated Jemmott's funky bass lines into his own style. Jerry hosted the instructional video Modern Electric Bass (1985) which featured advice from Pastorius. Jemmott began his solo career in 1978, playing jazz, blues, Rhythm 'n Blues, reggae, and soul as Jerry Jemmott & Souler Energy. During this period he was also a member of the Jimmy Owens Quartet, who made several trips to Europe, The Middle East and Africa for the U.S State Department. He is the recipient of the 2001 Bass Player magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award and Chairman of the Electric Bass Department at the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists. In 2006 he joined Gregg Allman's backing band ("Gregg Allman & Friends") in addition to Cornell Dupree's Soul Survivors. In 2014 he rejoined Aretha Franklin on the David Letterman Show, Rolling in The Deep. He has developed a universally recognizable ColorSoundMusic Learning System envisioned by Herb Lovelle that he teaches at his Clinics and Workshops.