The JIMMY HASLIP Story
Jimmy Haslip was born December 31st, 1951 in the Bronx, New York. He grew up in Huntington, Long Island. In 1963 at the age of 13, he became interested in electric bass and has now been playing for 47+ years. Jimmy left New York in 1969 playing music in San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver and Dallas before moving on to Los Angeles in late 1975, where he began touring and recording with many different popular artists.
In 1978 he met guitarist Robben Ford and keyboardist Russell Ferrante and formed a group to record Robben's first solo recording on Electra-Asylum. This critically acclaimed album, called " The Inside Story" became a landmark recording. That album led to the formation of The Yellowjackets and in 1980 they recorded a debut album for Warners Bros. Records.
Jimmy is actively composing, arranging, producing and performing with Yellowjackets, who will be touring and promoting their newest recording in 2011, their 21st CD entitled "TIMELINE" on the MACK AVENUE recording Label. Yellowjackets, the two time Grammy winners, have been nominated for seventeen Grammy’s. Jimmy was also nominated for an Edison award in 2000. and this year, another Grammy nomination, his 18th for the Jeff Lorber Fusion “NOW IS THE TIME” recording.which he co-produced.
the Zen of Music
Music has now been my life professionally for 42 years, plus all the years of dabbling in music prior. I started playing trumpet in elementary school, when, virtually, all schools had music programs and offered lessons to all the students of the school. I was approached when I was 7 years old, in the first grade by a music teacher, while sitting in the classroom and was asked, “would you like to play a musical instrument and what would you like to play?” After giving this three seconds of thought, I choose the trumpet . . . . My parents owned some Al Hirt, Harry James and some cool Salsa recordings by Tito Puente, Ray Baretto and Tito Rodriguez . . All featuring the trumpet in a big way. So,Playing trumpet, flugel horn, baritone horn, tenor horn, tuba and bugle in the Boy Scouts and a drum and bugle corps, from age of 7 until I was 18.
Then there is the electric bass. I started playing that when I was 13 in Junior High School . . . . Now playing for 47 years.
Through all that, I have combined my music and life experience with my family and my friendships, sports, meditation, and metaphysical knowledge, travel and cultural knowledge and all the ups and downs that come along with these experiences into sharing and giving .
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In the words of Paramahansa Yogananda “Giving love to all. sowing the seeds of wisdom, health, prosperity, and happiness, in the garden of my life.”
The Zen of Bass
I was always attracted to the bass in a song. I think it all started when my Dad would buy a record player for the house, he would always say, “ There has to be a good strong bass sound coming out of the speakers!” Whenever we listened to music as a family, my Dad would always crank up the bass. At the age of 13 years old now starting the eight grade, I attend a dance with a live rock band. That was an incredible moment for me as it was the first time I ever saw an electric bass being played in person. I knew then, when I saw and heard it, that I wanted to play electric bass. Shortly there after, My Dad bought me a Zimgar electric bass and a Gretsch combo bass amp. I was left handed, but the bass was for a right handed player, I thought, “Who cares”. I was in heaven and started practicing right away. I tried getting a teacher, but all the teachers I went to wanted me to learn to play as a right hander?
Long story short, I continued to play a right handed bass, left handed and got lessons from a teacher/bass player named Ron Smith, who also doubled on tuba. That was a fantastic connection and he got me hooked up with a lot of basic theory that gave me a strong foundation in harmony and melody. I played in a lot of bands from the 8th grade through the 12th grade. That was also incredible and it prepared me for the start of my professional career playing in bars and night clubs all around New York, Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
With six years playing under my belt, I got a gig with a band called Captain Cook for a year plus which was an absolutely inspiring period of growth for me personally. The musicians in the band, Angelo Ficara, Doug Pirrone and Doug Dean were generous and forthright with teaching me about the so called “ropes” and super encouraging. I’d have to say that playing in this band was a most amazing experience, and this for me was a serious education understanding what it took to be a professional muscian, plus opened the door to a world of deep, spiritual enlightenment.
I will forever be in their debt.
The Tools I Use
Although, over the many years, I have used a vast variety of instruments and equipment, I am pleased to be using as my current stable, the basses and equipment below.
From Aguilar Amplification I use two Tone Hammer 500 Amps powering two Four X Ten Bass Cabinets.
My main Bass Guitar is my LG3006 built for me by Keith Roscoe and crew at ROSCOE GUITARS. I also play the fine basses made by Mike Tobias at MTD BASS GUITARS. In my stable of basses are bass guitars from Yamaha International, Pat Wilkins Basses, Innerwood Basses, Wyn Basses, and Mayonnes Basses.
I also use Bartolini Pickups and Pre Amps, The Buzzy Feiten Tuning System, Line 6, Korg, Radial Direct Boxes, Moody Guitar Straps, Planet Wave Cables, and Dunlop Strings and MXR Effects.