On this Jeff Berlin interview: his early childhood trauma and how it impacted him, “falling apart” from years of emotional pain and his subsequent recovery… his awkward first meeting with Eddie Van Halen, early lessons learned playing jingles in NYC after Berklee… great story how he hooked up with Bill Bruford and the doors that opened up for him as a result, his Top 3 Musical experiences (VERY cool), funniest things that happened to him in the studio and on stage, backstories to some of the tracks on his new Jack Songs LP & hard-earned lessons he learned from making this record… best decision he ever made, great advice for musicians, and LOADS of stories. Awesome interview, very courageous and sincere
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Originally from NYC, Jeff is one of the most highly-regarded jazz and fusion bassists of the modern era, and a well-respected bass educator. He’s known for his tone and technique, and has been one of the major figures in firmly establishing the electric bass as a solo instrument. His career took off in 1977 when Yes founding drummer Bill Bruford handpicked him to play in his band. Jeff’s other recording and performance credits include a who’s who of jazz and rock: Larry Coryell, Pat Martino, John McLaughlin, Yes, Eddie Van Halen, Frank Zappa & many more.
Just to address this up front, Jeff’s done dozens of interviews on the controversial comments he’s made about bass players learning by academic teaching vs being self- taught. We’re not going to address this issue, because Jeff’s owned a lot of his mistakes here and has made public apologies to the people he needed to. But what we will talk about today is the genesis of what prompted the fairly dramatic shift in his position, and his ongoing emotional recovery from the things that contributed to this situation in the first place.
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