Forward Thinking

Despite a ‘who’s who’ list of recording credits under his belt, Jimmy Haslip is perhaps best known for his work with one band, the veteran jazz group Yellowjackets. While his career with the Yellowjackets was always firmly entrenched in the contemporary jazz genre, you might be surprised to discover that his earliest bass influences were predominantly from rock and R&B recordings. “James Jamerson and Berry Oakley were big influences,” he tells us. “I was also listening to guys like Jack Bruce, Glen Cornick and Chris Squire.” Having discovered the bass guitar in high school, the left-handed Haslip bought a right-handed bass from a local music store and turned it upside down. “When I couldn’t find a lefty bass I just bought a right-handed bass and flipped it over. It seemed to make perfect sense!” It wasn’t long before his growing interest in jazz and fusion sparked him to new levels, leading to a life-changing period when he studied with Jaco Pastorius. Haslip has since become one of the most highly regarded bassists of his generation, an improviser of extraordinary depth and a groovemaster with impeccable feel.