Interview with Bassist Jerome Lee - Bass Musician Magazine
Interview by Raul Amador
Bass Musician Magazine
April 9, 2018
Jerome Lee – ‘The Suits’
January 22, 2018
Jerome Lee is an R&B/Soul artist and veteran to the music industry. With other four decades of experience playing electric bass, singing, songwriting, recording, touring, and teaching, there
is no doubt that he delivers a quality music experience. Jerome’s passion has taken his performances around the globe performing and recording in cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Cagliari,
Casablanca, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Salzburg and Tokyo. His single, “The Suits” is a great reflection of his cultivated years of hard work.
The song opens with a brief synth introduction before the arrangement breaks through with a funky pulsing bass, a steady drum beat, and a droning synth. Jerome enters along singing, “Man in a
suit, speaking big words/In the name of justice, it’s how he’s learned/To free the guilty while the innocent hide/One more step to kill a city’s pride,” displaying his smooth, soulful voice as he
takes lead on the track. As the verse progresses, the instrumentals build and changes leading up to the transition to the chorus as Jerome shows of the range and capabilities of his voice.
“The Suits” is a powerful song that takes the perspective of those who are struggling financially, socially, and other wise in our society and describes their interactions with the wealthier
people of society. The song imagines someone who is struggling thinking that if only maybe they were wearing a suit too, their life could change for the better. Each verse ends with this person
asking someone in a suite for advice and each of them respond saying its about having money. From the more poetic lyrics in the verses to the transition of the up-beat vibe of the chorus implies a
story of hope that things will get better.
Jerome Lee creates a compelling track with his stellar vocals, strong lyrics, and grooving instrumentals in his song “The Suits.” The relatable topic and memorable melodies make this song a memorable music experience. Fans can purchase his music on CDBaby. For more information on Jerome Lee, visit his website.
Review by Bryon William
Indie Spoonful Music Reviews
January 22, 2018
Jerome Lee - 10 Questions Indie Music Interviews
January 22, 2018
BWH Music Group
Jerome Lee is an R&B/Soul artist and veteran to the music industry. With other four decades of experience playing electric bass, singing, songwriting, recording, touring, and teaching, there is no doubt that he delivers a quality music experience. Jerome’s passion has taken his performances around the globe performing and recording in cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Cagliari, Casablanca, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Salzburg and Tokyo. While living in the Netherlands, he recorded his own CD titled, ‘Life This Time,’ which featured a refreshing mix of soul, jazz, and r&b music. Now in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jerome has released a new single titled "Octobers Groove."
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
My first song was an instrumental funk based groove. I wrote it while I was a young serviceman stationed in Japan. I didn’t have a name for it, so I titled it "Indecision". The catalyst may have been listening to a good deal of jazz music before I wrote it.
And I also believe that the great bassists who came before me who were unafraid to record their solo works and music from their core being set a standard for me. To find that their music was accepted by the public showed me that it was alright for me to compose songs in this manner as well.
Vocal songwriting from me came a short time later in my life, but again, the catalyst was likely all of the great music of several genres that inspired me. But a lot of soul and r&b music came out of me when I began to write vocal songs.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I dunno, there have been a few crazy things that have happened after all these years! But I think a couple do stand out for me; a last minute band tour to Casablanca, Morocco while I was living in Holland that lasted an entire month. It happened fast, and when we got there, some people also worked fast to get us settled in so we could play the gigs. That was a crazy whirlwind time for sure.
The other was accepting my first tour of Sardinia Island, Italy. The tour promoter from Sardinia walked right up to me after a show that I did with my band while living in Amsterdam, Holland. He was straight to the point, and pulled no punches with me. A couple of months later, I found myself and my band on stage for at least a dozen shows that summer in Sardinia, all of them at outdoor venues. Lots of people at the shows, lots of travel around the island. It was fun, crazy and unforgettable.
What has been the high point of your music path?
While I have been thankful for the high points that I have experienced in my career, I think a real high point was releasing my first solo record. The idea that my own compositions were released to the world public for the first time probably remains a real high point for me.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I consider my approach to be twofold. There are songs that come to me in small sections at a time, where one section will prompt me to write another section. When that happens to me I allow the sections to guide me to where the song is going, and what it is trying to say.
Other times, the entire song will become completed inside my head before I ever record a single note of it. I like that when that happens to me, and I find it easier to record those kinds of songs.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
The challenge to me is the sheer amount of fellow artists available on the internet that compete for what I call "earshare".
An independent artist today must also become their own digital startup; in order to run an online business the artist must wear several business and management hats at the same time, even as a band.
By the year 2020 and beyond, this will be a day to day reality in the life of an independent artist.
If I could ask the music industry to change one thing, then hopefully it would be a change that would affect independent artists in such a profoundly positive way that artists from around the world would want to come to the U.S. and make new music with the artists who live in the U.S..
And vice versa as well; a situation where it is made much easier for artists from the U S. to be able to go abroad and make music with artists residing in foreign lands and allow that newly created music to flourish.
This would not only create new styles of music that would invariably be played in the world to the delight of music listeners, but a new paradigm indeed for the music industry worldwide.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
For the longest time in my life, I wanted to be the second bass player in Stanley Clarke’s great live show bands over the years; he is a terrific composer and bassist, and has been a huge inspiration to me.
And I would have liked to have been in the Crusaders band in their heyday as a bassist. I loved the Crusaders and I loved what one music critic wrote about them -"they sound like they never listen to the radio". Most of the members of the Crusaders have passed on now, but they remain close to my own heart.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Rehearsal and show preparation mostly dovetail for me mentally at some point well before the show event. I practice alone, to work out every single bass part to every single song chosen for the event. Then at rehearsal, I find the levels and settings that I will need for the event on stage. If I am singing as well as playing bass, I find the final vocal places with other singers who may be in the band. If I am singing alone and playing bass in a band, then I try to have my vocal parts worked out at home before rehearsals begin.
The dovetail comes for me mentally when I know every single song for the show by heart. Because when the show actually begins, I am fully ready to go and I can let my nervous energy flow freely and receive the spirit of every show start, every time. That’s a great feeling too.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
That’s probably my song titled "Monkey Slide" because it contained a lot of new elements for me to record with. Before writing and recording that song, I had been working from what I thought was a musical-instrument-only kind of approach. It was working for me up until that point.
But when I began to work on "Monkey Slide", I looked at using some exotic audio samples from a great world music sampling library that I had at the time. To incorporate the samples that I used was tricky; I wanted them to be placed a little bit out of the tempo of the song, and I had to work at it for a while to get them where I finally wanted them.
It was also the first time that I used a piano keyboard sample-to-waveform bass sound in a recording to play a low or foundation bass part. It is the sound of the acoustic bass in that song, and I simply played the melody and solo sections of the song on my own bass.
And to bring my thoughts home on this, was the fact that I wrote all of the digital keyboard parts and all of the digital drums and percussion parts for that song using only a computer mouse! Whew.
What's coming up in the future?
It is most likely that I will continue to write and release some more material for the public. A few more singles at least. My hope is that each single song that I release can gain some traction on its own with the music listeners out there.
And then, over time, I would like to compile all of the singles and place them all on a single CD for release. If the singles have done well on their own, then I would think that it is better to release a CD of proven singles for brand new listeners of my music. We’ll see how it all works out.
Where can fans can access your music?
One destination is CD Baby
Another destination is iTunes
And there is always the Streaming/Buy Links Page at my official website A Bassic Life
10 Questions Interview by Bryon William
10 Questions Indie Music Interviews
January 22, 2018
Jerome Lee – “The Suits”
By The Butcher on December 14, 2017
Jerome Lee is a music industry veteran with more than four decades of experience playing electric bass, singing, songwriting, recording, touring and teaching. He has worked with a wide variety of
artists that include Oscar winning musician and producer Niki Buzz, talented Japanese vibraphonist Oy Takahashi, modern jazz saxaphonist Tom Borton, 80’s funk rockers Urban Artillery, rising neo-soul
stars TN’T, rockabilly guitar legend Jackie Lee Cochran, blues masters the King Brothers, early rock and soul pioneer Curtis Knight, and Dutch singer/songwriter Sonny Griffin. Jerome’s passion for
travel and love of music has taken him around the globe, performing and recording in cities as diverse as Amsterdam, Brussels, Cagliari, Casablanca, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York City,
Salzburg and Tokyo. While living in the Netherlands, he recorded and released his own CD titled, “Life This Time”, a refreshing mix of soul, jazz and R&B music. During October 2015, Jerome
released a new single titled “The Suits”, a soul and R&B groove number with a nod to both the old and new schools of soul music.
“The Suits” begins with a futuristic synthesizer intro that snaps into a tight and funky groove topped off with a classy sounding jazz flavored piano. The lyrics immediately start and express the
desire to establish yourself on the societal ladder. These are lyrics that everyone can identify with. The expansive chord progressions take the song into interesting roads and tunnels and keep this
clean sounding production groovy and entertaining beginning to end. You can listen to “The Suits” on our Prime Cuts Playlist on Spotify and follow Jerome Lee on the links below. Please continue to
support artists like Jerome and share this music with everyone you know.
Review by The Butcher
The Music Butcher Music Blog
December 14, 2017
WSPR Simple Pleasures Radio - Artist Spotlight Interview With Jerome Lee
Live Interview by Leander Terry
WSPR Simple Pleasures Radio
Artist Spotlight Feature
July 30, 2017
The Suits – Jerome Lee
The Suits by Jerome Lee is a R&B track that touches upon the styles of the 1980s and 1990s to build upon a very current and contemporary sound. The current sound of the track is predicated on how successfully it builds this blueprint; hints of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock can all be heard here. Jerome’s vocals are a particularly high point to the composition, while the backing instrumentation create a canvas upon wish Lee can weave a compelling voice with a fun little narrative. The drums and synths found here add further fullness to this track, which has a replay value that is unparalleled.
Review by James McQuiston
Features, Music Reviews
June 2, 2016
Jerome Lee’s been making music for many years. His professional career goes back 31 years when
he was stationed in Japan with the US military and playing club and concert dates with folks such as Oy Takahashi, Miyanoue Yoshiaki, Keiji Yoshida and The 9th Of June. After returning to the US, Lee
became something of an in-demand player while continuing to write his own material. 2003 saw the release of Life This Time, a soul and funk-filled play at modern pop.
Life This Time opens with Prettiest Girl, a funky jam with a classic soul sound. Lee sounds like he's singing through a time machine; a young James Ingram reborn. Monkey Slide brings on the funk with some nifty dance beats. Lee's musical dogma is understated here , turning Monkey Slide into a delicious and snarky that's made from piano, guitar, keys and vibes. Reach is a pleasant listen but fails to distinguish itself as an essential track. In My Heart is a classic R&B ballad, circa 1985; complete with saxophone and jazz guitar sound effects. Druk Op De Een is the peppiest song here, complete with disco beats.
My absolutely favorite song here is Time Gone Away, a deep and beautiful ballad that sounds like it's played on baritone guitar. An instrumental tune; Time Gone Away doesn't need words to convey the sad hopefulness that runs through every phrase, passage and note Lee evokes from those six strings. Time Gone Away is a master class in emotive guitar playing.
Homecoming is a fairly typical ballad that is a pleasant listen but not particularly consequential.
The album closes with Student Jam; three-and-a-half minutes on what sounds like a Casio keyboard
with some very funky bass interplay. This is what some folks might describe as elevator music, although a close listen reveals more complexity and diversion than is generally found in the musical
Soma of enclosed places.
Jerome Lee's Life This Time is up and down throughout, running from average to amazing. Lee is obviously incredibly talented, but tends to play in a genre/era mix that has been pretty much covered many times over.
When Lee really lets his creative abilities out of the box and just plays, the music is sublime.
Life This Time is a worthwhile venture.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Review by Wildy Haskell at Wildy's World Blogspot
Date - January 21, 2009
Life This Time - Jerome Lee
by BullFrogMusic Reviews
I liked Jerome Lee and his music as soon as I heard this Jazz/Funk/RnB/Soul release (his first, I think). The music just exudes a happy-live-and-let–live vibe that makes you want to hug the guy who made it all up. Lee has had a peripatetic life having lived in many American cities, Japan and Europe. Like a lot of serious working musicians, he’s worn a lot of hats in a lot of different milieus. I assume his well-rounded resume accounts for the cosmopolitan, man-of-the-world atmosphere of this CD.
A musician who plays a supporting instrument (bass in this case) try to prove their virtuosity by lengthy, complicated solos. Lee is too much of a professional for that. His bass work fits right into the mix without trying to overpower anyone else on the stage. The seams are invisible and the listener isn’t distracted by glaring bass passages. The production values are so good that you don’t even pay attention to them; there’s nothing that sticks out.
Lee’s voice seems a little strained at times, as though he’s singing a bit out of his range. But even this vocal style fits in with the overall feel of the release and no one but a voice nut like me would notice it.
The song lyrics are um…nice. There’s nothing groundbreaking in subject matter or style, but they’re still worth listening to over and over again. Lee speaks from the heart and you can tell he’s sincere. Listeners should go to his site and read his descriptions of the songs; there’s no canned PR blether; just honesty.
Lee is a master musician and songwriter. Why did he wait so long to produce his own CD?
Recommendation: Buy it.
Review by Jeremiah Sutherland at BullFrogMusic Reviews
Date - July 14, 2008
NOTE: BullFrog Music Reviews is currently offline as of February 2010
Prettiest Girl - Jerome Lee
by Single Of The Day
Oh the infamous Disney phrase. Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all? Oh the vanity. Oh the humanity. There isn’t a soul on the planet who doesn’t wish to be desired in some way shape or form. At least I can’t imagine one that doesn’t want to be desired. What begs to be asked is why is it when a soul gets desired why it may still reject being desired. Humans are funny creatures aren’t they?
Media spends a great deal of time exploring what we find to be attractive. Visit a supermarket and you’re likely to be bombarded at the checkout stand with tabloid covers doused in images of people who are considered to be attractive, rich or powerful. The three elements that make one human desirable to others. For the fortunate few they can combine all three and it’s as if they could become a deity.
Everyone has different things they find attractive but on the whole for guys I’m thinking there’s some women like Keira Knightley, Beyonce Knowles, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, Natalie Portman, Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, and so on, and so on. For women there’s some guys like Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Zack Braff, ok I give up. I’m not up on my hot hunks. Notice I’ve pretty much mentioned movie stars. Some how we really get taken a flutter by seeing someone up on the big screen.
That’s the concept behind today’s song, Prettiest Girl. The title says it all. From a guys perspective, unless of course you’re a lesbian and then it would apply there too. Actually while hanging out for the Super Bowl in Hermosa, I did see a female member of our group. I had met her before. The kind of attractive that makes even women turn a head and say “damn, she is fine.” She is lesbian and her partner was there too. Also attractive. So yes, it does apply.
Kick out the groove, pop in some soul and splash a little funk in there. That’s the breath behind the music. There’s an interesting mix of retro vibe combined with some modern synth elements. Along with a lot of live organic instruments groovin and funkin. I can appreciate it. It’s a fun kind of music to play. Though not a current “in sound”, that can’t stop the fact that it’s a song with some life. There’s hidden gems everywhere and even I can’t get to all of them. I’ll do my best.
Who’s your prettiest girl?
Review by Jody Whitesides at Single of the Day
Date - February 5, 2008
Life This Time - by Jerome Lee
by Improvijazzation Nation
Jerome Lee - LIFE THIS TIME: As you listen to the opener, "Time Gone Away", you won't be thinking "Rhythm & blues, blues, blues", perhaps, but you'll certainly realize just how large a talent you're privileged to hear - excellent guitar on this one!
That R&B sound comes shining through on "Prettiest Girl"... in fact, if I remember from my first listen to Jerome (on REVERBNATION), this is the tune that first caught my ear... took me right back to those '70's black juke joints down in Huntsville, Alabama... funk on fire, fer' sure!
The track that had me up on my feet (pretendin' I was 25 again... ha! ha!) all 'round my living room (with my headphones on, of course) was "Monkey Slide".... TOTAL fun, & just what that "good soul music" was all about when I was growing up with it all around me.
If you can't groove to Jerome's high energy, folks - you got both feet in th' hole already... I give this a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone who loves R&B, soul & jazz.
He gets an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.97 from me, too. Get more information at www.reverbnation.com/jeromelee (& be sure to tell him that brother Zzaj sent ya', ok?).
Rotcod Zzaj Review by
Dick Metcalf aka "Rotcod Zzaj"
Date - August 10, 2010
Life This Time - by Jerome Lee
by Target Audience Magazine
Jerome Lee has survived the test of time having been making music for 40 years! His work is truly what “adult contemporary” should be; great music for listening as background music in classy nightclubs or family restaurants.
Themes including finding love, happiness and beauty within a woman which lasts longer than outward appearances win favor with many audiences. His music may not strike emotive chords, but it is upbeat and fun to listen and dance to. The jazzy additions of tenor saxophone and the quality of mixing makes this great for radio play.
Jerome Lee makes music for audiences who don't necessarily need to feel overwhelmed by music; those who can simply enjoy an ambient atmosphere. I sincerely hope his music gets a chance to be heard by those who would appreciate it. Check him out at http://www.jeromelee.net/.
Review by Ellen Eldridge at Target Audience Magazine
Date - Fall 2009
Far Beyond Good...
by FaThEaD at Fuzz.com
'Prettiest Girl' is an unpretentious cat-call ~ Jerome Lee pulls off the neo-soul sound with an outstanding blend of thick, funky, uncompromising slap and what comes off as a Vandross on Steroids approach. This is gooood stuff.
As the playlist begins to take form with 'Monkey Slide' I can see the versatility of the group. 'Monkey Slide' is a fat jazz that makes no excuses. Some might call it experimental...ahem ~ that's what jazz is in its most pure form.
'Reach' is an endearing search for something completely external and is presented as a lovely bottom end, that would put many woofers to good use ~ and so as not to completely ignore the tweets Jerome Lee offers up some tubular bell work - this creates a great hardy tinny sweep. I absolutely dig the euphoric feel of this tune.
'In My Heart' incorporates some very sweet sax and very clean bass lines ~ a touch of tambourine and some more of the delicious tubular bell accents. The guitar work rounds this piece out as complimentary and only appears where absolutely necessary. "Druk Op De Een" or "Press On The One" ~ Yes, Yes, Yes. This song just kicks.
There are three more songs on this site...But, I am not going to spoil it for you. This is more than a listen...I highly recommend you crank this work and really get into what is going on.
Review by FaThEaD at Fuzz.com
Date - June 8, 2008
NOTE: Fuzz.com went offline on February 13, 2009.
Review for the song "Prettiest Girl" -
Very good song, good blend of soulful and latin rhythms. Lyrics are timely, positive, and upbeat.
Review by Staff Team Geerayrecords Review - July 16, 2007
NOTE: HotMusicShop.net went offline in March 2013.
Review for the song "Reach" -
I thought this song was excellent. Great lyrics, rhythm and beat. I like the hook and I think it will appeal to all audiences.
Review by Staff Team Geerayrecords Review - July 16, 2007
NOTE: HotMusicShop.net went offline in March 2013.
Song Review: "Prisoner Of Pretty Lies" by Ghost Embrace (2013)
Ghost Embrace - Prisoner Of Pretty Lies (song review) |self-released, Ghost Embrace, 2013|
Ghost Embrace is an American band from Colorado, led by Annette Freeman who's a singer-songwriter, as well as a music producer. Not only is she armed with a wide-scale, well trained voice and a 12 string guitar but also a few colorful tattoos. Aside from the lead singer, the band includes: Jerome Lee, a music industry veteran who spent over 40 years playing an electric bass; Chad Kent who has played drums since he turned 12 (known also from bands Atomship and Watership Down); as well as two talented guitar players - Nema Sobhani and Ryan Kargoll. The soft, well-chosen background vocals are performed by Madeline Gardner, Brett Weisz and Leah Rose.
"Prisoner Of Pretty Lies" is one of the songs published on the newly released Ghost Embrace album. The track brings a variety of influences and moods ranging from such genres as metal, progressive rock, soul and R&B. At 2 minutes and 50 seconds, the track is pretty short, but includes all the necessities of a good tune - a bright composition, soothing arrangements, moods that grown on you and professionally performed music.
Annette's voice dominates the entire track. There are peaks expressing the moments of strong emotions such as passion, possessiveness or jealousy (where Annette sounds predatory), but also sweeter and softer spots that may illustrate love, hope or tenderness. When Annette sings: "Loving who you might be, Taking it too far, Believing what I see, Is who you really are" it should make you realize that this calming track is relating to the subjects of loneliness and casual relationships. Every year, thousands of people fall in love with barely matched partners, just to kill boredom or emptiness in their own lives. They meet offline and online, jumping into relationships to search for their own worth in the eyes of others. It's pretty natural to have expectations, yet a low self-esteem can turn out to be a trap, for both involved parties. This song could be a perfect musical companion to a movie trailer, one which specifically touches the topics mentioned above - love stories o f people of all ages and orientations around the world.
"Prisoner Of Pretty Lies" could have sounded a bit too lyrical or moody, if not for the involvement of a dynamic duo - Chad with his confident perky metal drumming and Jerome providing warm blues/R&B bass lines. These two, mixed with progressive rock guitar solos brought by Nema and Ryan put a second life into the short composition. It seems that every musician in the band could have performed his or her part on their own equally well, leading to a bunch of great instrumental or a capella tracks. Still, together they complement one another to an even better result. The track was recorded at HyperThreat Sound, mixed by Dave Fortman (Balance Studios) and mastered by Adam Ayan (Gateway Mastering). If you agree that love can be a little confusing sometimes, check out "Prisoner Of Pretty Lies" by Ghost Embrace.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, May 23rd, 2013)
Ghost Embrace –
Skilled Musicians Put Together Album Without Ever Being In The Same Room
by Indie Band Guru
Anyone that has spent any time working at a recording studio has seen some amazing talent come in and out of the doors. What if you could take all of the best musicians that have played there and combine them into a supergroup of talent? One of the latest records I was sent seems to have just this idea. It goes by the title Ghost Embrace.
The owner of HyperThreat Sound Studio in Colorado, Annette Freeman, has been building quite the mix of ability and styles to combine into one impressive grouping. Musicians featured in Ghost Embrace include Jerome Lee, a well versed R&B bassist who has been in the game for many years, Chad Kent, drummer of Atomship and Watership Down. His incredible power and speed adds a new level and leads the group in a progressive direction.
Guitarist Nema Sobhani’s incredible speed and meticulous sweeps, and guitarist Ryan Kargoll’s melodic style are at the front end of this musical powerhouse. Background vocals are added by Brett Weisz and Leah Rose.
The music was put together in an interesting way. Instead of everyone being in the same room playing together, each musician layed down their tracks one at a time allowing the freedom to express themselves without any pressure to fit into the band dynamic. The skills of experienced engineers at the studio allowed the songs to be put together in this organic style. I was able to get a listen to a few of the tracks from this process.
‘Prisoner Of Pretty Lies’ jumps out and grabs your attention right away with a technical skill that is very exotic. Drums and guitar lead the way to an amazing vocal performance. The song would most likely be considered progressive rock just due to the skills exposed. Another track ‘Rainbow Pirate’ follows the same pattern and allows all of the gifted musicians to play their hearts out with the mixing engineer cutting it all together later. This trend could produce some phenomenal music. Go get a taste for yourself at: http://www.hyperthreat.com/ghost-embrace.html
Review by Keith Pro - Indie Band Guru
September 27, 2013