SlideMeister Featured Artist - May 2013:
Jason Keene is a Jazz monster who, like a lot of my favorite players grew up in New York. (Queens, in particular)
Says he started bass in the 4th grade, and got his first Chromatic (a Chromonica Deluxe II) from his father at around age eleven. He was instantly "hooked" however, he only puttered with it for many years while primarily playing the bass.
Jason discovered his father's West Coast jazz collection when he was around 12, and also became obsessed with Nat King Cole around the same time. He enjoys all kinds of music, but I has never strayed very far from his jazz and jazz vocalist roots.
Mr. Keen has an astounding collection of vinyl LP's. Last count was around 7000! Is that off the hook or what!? Wait! There's more! He's also an avid movie collector, with over 5,000 titles in that collection.
His favorite artists and influence include Chet Baker, Nat King Cole, Anita O'Day, Toot's Thielmans, (of course) Chico Hamilton, The Hi-Lo's, Paul Desmond, Dexter Gordon, and anything else that sounds good to his ears.
With his BluesBop band
Rather than going to college, he kicked out all the stops, cut to the chase and pursued music full time, right after high school, and moved to Atlanta where he toured for around 8 years with a successful regional rock band (Cruis-O-Matic) until he moved to L.A. when he was twenty-seven. In L.A. he played music, did a few commercials and T.V. as an actor, and got into photography, shooting portraits of his acting and music friends. The photography proved to be more lucrative than he expected, and began a free lance career as a photographer when he was thirty.