Legendary drummer Jaimoe toured with Otis Redding, played for Patti Labelle and was one of the six founding members for the Allman Brothers Band. While on tour with his band—Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, he will be reunited with Gregg Allman Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Saenger Theatre.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Jaimoe said, of touring with Allman again. “Hopefully, we get to play some together.”
Jaimoe says he started playing music late in life. In high school he was into sports and body building. When he was 16-years-old, he joined the high school band.
“I knew I could do sports, but I couldn’t play music,” Jaimoe said.
Once Jaimoe found his passion for music, it was hard to tear him away from it, even when he wasn’t making any money.
“I was borrowing money from my mother,” Jaimoe recalled of his early music career. “I decided to go to New York. I figured if I’m going to starve to death, I might as well starve to death doing what I love.”
It was Phil Walden, Otis Redding’s manager that suggested Jaimoe head south to Alabama and meet the late Duane Allman.
“He told me, ‘You wanna make some money? Play with them white boys,’” Jaimoe said.
Jaimoe took a bus to Alabama to meet Duane—or “Skyman” as Wilson Pickett called him, because of the high notes he played.
“I ain’t never seen a white boy play like that,” Jaimoe said. “He was a skinny little white boy with stringy hair. He shook my hand and the rest is pretty much history. These guys could really play music.”
Jaimoe played drums for the Allman Brothers Band for three years.
“Man, I had a ball,” he said.
Now 67-years-old, Jaimoe has not stopped playing music. Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band is a hybrid of jazz with influences from all of the bands he’s played in. The band features Junior Mack on the guitar and vocals, Dave Stoltz on bass, Bruce Katz on keyboards, Paul Lieberman on saxophone, flute and piccolo, Kris Jensen on saxophone and Reggie Pittman on the trumpet.
The band’s funny spelling was influenced by an old film, in which a bass drum had “jass” written on it.
“It’s the same thing the Beatles did,” Jaimoe said of the odd spelling.
Jaimoe toured with Otis Redding from April to September in 1966. Redding was a great teacher to the young musician.
“He had enough knowledge about the piano, guitar and drums to get the sound he wanted,” Jamie said. “I learned a great deal about timing from him.”
Jaimoe grew up in Gulfport, Miss. It’s been two years since he made it to Pensacola. The time before that it was 1968.
“We played on the beach, it used to be nothing but sand dunes,” Jaimoe said.
When it comes to Tuesday’s performance at the Saenger, Jaimoe is certain it will be a good one.
“The audience will feel great and will enjoy the music,” Jaimoe said. “Do yourself a favor and come out to the show.”
GREGG ALLMAN WITH SPECIAL GUEST JAIMOE’S JASSSZ BAND
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10
WHERE: Saenger Theatre, 118 S. Palafox