Jimmy Haslip (The Yellowjackets, Robben Ford)

Courtesy of Jimmy Haslip Com


Born in the Bronx, raised on Long Island, Jimmy Haslip’s nearly half-century career as a sideman, bandmember, collaborator,  session cat, producer, solo recording artist, and composer spans jazz fusion, pop, metal, world, soul, funk, Americana, and rhythm and blues.   


Jimmy started off on drums, then moved on to tuba, trumpet, and guitar before choosing the bass at age 15. A natural lefty, Haslip learned his craft on a right-handed instrument turned upside down ala Jimi Hendrix.


Rapidly advancing on the instrument, Haslip came to prominence anchoring two bona-fide guitar gods in the 1970s: Tommy Bolin and Robben Ford. In 1980, the core members of Ford’s backing ensemble; Haslip, keyboardist Russel Ferrante, and drummer Ricky Lawson formed The Yellowjackets – a groundbreaking jazz fusion collective with commercial overtones – hence the creation of the oft derided sub-genre “smooth jazz.” 


Regardless of critical acclaim and/or derision, depending on your disposition, The Yellowjackets were/are a resounding success commercially and artistically, garnering nearly two dozen Grammy nominations, and two Grammy Awards to date: Best R & B Instrumental Performance 1987 “And You Know That,” Best Jazz Fusion Performance for the album Politics in 1989.  


Haslip “officially” left The Yellowjackets 2013 and was replaced by Felix Pastorius, son of Jaco Pastorius. Jimmy occasionally re-unites with The Yellowjackets on stage and on record.     


A master soloist and pocket player Jimmy was also an early adopter of the extended range bass. Among his high-profile session credits include Anita Baker, Gino Vannelli, Chaka Kahn, Al Jarreau, and Rita Coolidge. He also “pinch hit” for Gene Simmons on various Kiss sessions.


Jimmy Haslip Sound & Vision


The Yellowjackets:

“And You Know That” https://youtu.be/3w4xrOQdvkI

“Matinee Idol” https://youtu.be/QdbCf76wlKU

“Imperial Strut” https://youtu.be/R2qUJw1WjZM


Robben Ford:

“Aurora” https://youtu.be/AmL5WHTLJQU

“Magic Sam” https://youtu.be/5agv8BlngyI


Solo Jimmy: “Orange Guitars” https://youtu.be/ZaTgh1vO5rA