Happy birthday to legendary Zeppelin bassist, keyboardist, and co-songwriter John Paul Jones.

He turns 68 today, born on January 3, 1946, in Kent, England.

Rarely does Jones get the attention that the other members of Zeppelin have always received, but just imagine Led Zeppelin without that stunning, emotive, melodic bassline in "Ramble On", to name just one song, not to mention his keyboard magic on "All My Love" (which he co-wrote with Robert Plant) and songwriting credits on so many Zeppelin masterpieces, including "Fool in the Rain", "In the Evening", "Black Dog", and "Communication Breakdown."

I'm a lead-guitar lover, but John Paul Jones has always reached out and spoken to those of us who don't really focus on the bass. You simply can't ignore such deftly and expressively delivered bass lines.

Jones has been busy with a number of projects, including work with bluegrass singer/fiddler Sara Watkins, blues legend Seasick Steve, and Sonic Youth in recent years, and he was acknowledged in 2012 with his Led Zeppelin bandmates at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony.

To find out what he's been up to lately, check out his website, where I found this description of Jones:

He may have formed part of one of the biggest rock bands of all time, but John Paul Jones has never let go of his session musician roots.

The youtube video below is described at his website:

....his latest collaboration sees JPJ supplying twinkling mandolin to Oslo ingénue Susanna’s (formerly of Susanna & The Magical Orchestra) We Offer – a blissfully baroque track indebted to Court and Spark-era Joni Mitchell and performed here for Norwegian Streaming Service WiMP.