Terry Knight

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A tiny branch of musicology insists on a direct connection between the music of Grand Funk Railroad and New Orleans jazz, a concept that if true would certainly tarnish the reputation of the Crescent…
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A tiny branch of musicology insists on a direct connection between the music of Grand Funk Railroad and New Orleans jazz, a concept that if true would certainly tarnish the reputation of the Crescent City even worse than Hurricane Katrina. Jazz bassist Terry Knight, however, is not the same person who produced the aforementioned hard rock band following his own career as a rock bandleader. The bass Knight of New Orleans has been a steady member of a series of remarkable rhythm sections. He plays firmly and completely in the manner of pace-setting historical figures such as bassist Pops Foster, meaning he playeth not a single extra note, there is no popping with the thumb, and he doesn't get higher than the trumpeter, at least not in terms of pitches plucked.

Nonetheless, Knight's performances touch on the present as well as the past. Indeed, the name of one of the groups he is in, the Red Light Trio, is actually a reference to the little red light on Knight's bass amplifier. To many traditionalists, using such a device is as unbelievable as the notion that a red light in New Orleans would be mentioned in connection with anything besides a house of ill repute. In this case there just might be one after all, considering the somewhat insulting description of bassists as "gig whores." Put more politely, Knight's sideman activity also includes working with leaders such as George Lewis and Sarah Bissonette, and in Colin Kingwell's Jazz Bandits.