Jimmy Haslip: How Jimi Hendrix changed my life

Photo of Jimmy Haslip
(Image credit: Photo by Andrew Lepley/Redferns)

Although he is primarily known for his decades-long work with progressive jazz ensemble the Yellowjackets, low-end veteran Jimmy Haslip’s early formative years were not steeped in jazz but rather firmly planted in rock and funk.

“I was a big fan of Motown, Stax, Tamla and Atlantic/Atco recordings, and I was a huge Berry Oakley fan,” says Jimmy. “I saw Sly and the Family Stone four times in the NYC area. This band took you to a totally new place as far as rhythm and blues was concerned. And then there was the joy of listening to the bassist Larry Graham! He rocked the house!”

Considering that a typical Haslip solo is likely to be a jaw-dropping display of complex harmonic improvisation in the tradition of a jazz horn player, you may be surprised to hear that one of his biggest dreams was to jam with Jimi Hendrix.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.