Jimmy Haslip was born in New York, NY in 1951. He is one the top
electric bass players in the world, as evidenced by his artist associations below,
and is the founder and player for the fusion group Yellowjackets. He is
also a composer, instructor, and record producer.
Before taking on the bass guitar, Jimmy played the trumpet in school.
Haslip's early bass work included doing the bass lines for the first Kiss album.
This does explain why the band sounded so tight. He also played with a rock
group known as Blackjack during the late 1970's. He has also played with Gino Vannelli, Bruce
Horsby, Al Jarreau, Allan Holdsworth, Marilyn Scott, Chaka Khan, Donald Fagen,
and Anita Baker.
Jimmy has played a variety of basses over the years including, B.C. Rich,
Tobias, Yamaha, and now Roscoe. He often plays fretless bass, usually in
the six string variety. When I saw him live in Tacoma, he was playing a
fretless Tobias six string bass with his band.
Jimmy plays the bass left handed and it is strung backwards, in other words,
the high notes are on the top side of the finger board. This does present
some difficulty to slapping and popping the bass, but you would never guess this
by listening to his playing (Check out the song "And You Know That". His
preference in strings are D'Addario.
Jimmy's influences on the bass include, John Wetton of King Krimson, and
Greg Lake of Emerson Lake and Palmer. But the main influence was none
other than Chris Squire.
One of Jimmy's signatures to his bass playing is clean sound. His
playing appears to have absolutely no slop or loose pieces. The other
definite mark, is his superior choice of notes. Jimmy plays the bass like
a bass player should and would. He is one of the underrated players in my estimation. If you are looking for a good influence in your bass
playing, I strongly recommend listening to and learning many of his bass lines.
You will never regret it.
Below are some Youtube.com videos of
Jimmy with various musicians.
This is Claires Song by the Yellowjackets
This is Gino Vannelli with Jimmy Haslip on Bass on the classic Brother to Brother album
doing "Feel Like Flying".