“You can talk about little guitar hooks or certain drumbeats, but in my mind, James Jamerson is the guy who defined Motown. If you took the bass out of the Motown picture, you’d get something skeletal, without the true grooves and story – the things that completed each song.
“The Motown studio guys were called in and probably given 50 bucks a tune. They could have just played downbeats and roots, and it would've sounded OK. But they took their time and explored each groove, and they found stuff that really worked.
“In the case of Jamerson, he found stuff on the four-string bass that wasn’t even on the four-string bass. He was famous for not only coming with sub-hooks, as I call them, but he also came up with completely new things each time, on each song. And he’d been playing all day – by the end of the night, he’d done about 10 tracks. He probably got better as the hours clicked by, which is crazy to think about. I don’t know where he was drawing all that from – I know he came from upright bass and jazz, like all those guys did. He was a genius."