Fender is a name that everyone knows and it's a name associated with one of the most iconic bass guitars in history - the Jazz Bass. Designed by Leo Fender, the Jazz bass was introduced in 1960 and has inspired many imitators. The shape is largely unchanged in the last 60 years.
It has a sound you recognize because so many famous bass players have relied on the Jazz bass.
Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)
Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone)
Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)
Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report)
John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
Joe Osborn (The Wrecking Crew, International Submarine Band)
Geddy Lee (Rush)
Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Ron Blair (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Adam Clayton (U2)
Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire)
To name a few...
When you’re listening to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Sly & the Family Stone, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Led Zeppelin, the Police, Rush, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and U2, you are very often listening to a Jazz Bass. When you hear the breathtaking bass breaks by John Entwistle on the Who’s immortal “My Generation,” by John Paul Jones in Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times” and by Geddy Lee in Rush’s “YYZ,” you’re hearing a Jazz Bass.
The other Fender bass, the Precision bass is equally iconic but the jazz bass - for me - is the best choice because it has a faster neck and is easier to play.
My new Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass is made in Corona, California to exacting standards.
The American Ultra neckplate graces Fender’s top-of-the-line production instruments — their most advanced series of guitars and basses.
The Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass delivers the same iconic vintage vibe and visuals as its ancestors. But play a few notes and you’ll quickly realize that this is a state-of-the-art, high-performance axe. The contoured offset alder body balances beautifully and always feels just right; while the fast, slim Modern D neck profile, compound-radius fingerboard, and tapered neck heel turbocharge your playing. Amazing-sounding Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass pickups and active 3-band electronics complete the setup.
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass Features:
Solid alder body; gloss finish
Bolt-on maple neck, Modern D profile, Ultra; Satin finish with gloss headstock
Bound maple fingerboard, compound 10"–14" radius, block inlays
34" scale length; 1.5" bone nut; 21 medium-jumbo frets
Fender Light-Weight tapered Vintage Paddle tuners
2 Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass pickups with preamp
Master Volume, Pickup Pan controls
Bass, Mid, Treble, and Passive Tone controls
Active/Passive Mini Toggle switch
Vintage 4-saddle Vintage topload HiMass bridge
Single-action truss rod, neck heel access
Quality crafted by Fender USA
There are many versions of the Fender Jazz bass, but this one is called Ultra for a reason. It's the top of the line. The only way to get a nicer Jazz bass from Fender is to lay out four times more money and get one custom made according to your own specs in their custom design shop.
For me, the Texas Tea finish (which really looks more brown than black in person) is as good as it gets.
As a bass player, I have played Jazz basses in my youth, but none of them were as nice as this one and I am very proud to add such an iconic instrument to my collection. I will be treating this bass as I would my most prized possession and I am mindful that I am lucky to be able to own one.
P.S. When you take delivery of a premium product like the Ultra Jass Bass, it's always nice to get the little extras that remind you that you selected the very best. The guitar comes in probably the nicest case I have ever seen. Sturdy enough for flight holds (but I will never ship it that way) and beautiful enough to match the beauty of the bass. Plus there's a certificate of authenticity and a bunch of other accessories including an inspection card signed by the people who made the guitar. Classy.