In 1965 at the age of 14, he became interested in electric bass and began to teach himself to play. He has now been playing for 35 years.
Jimmy left New York in 1969 and moved to San Francisco where he resided for two years,
playing with various blues bands and folk artists. He then moved to New Orleans for about two
and a half years, where he performed with various local rock and funk bands. After a few lengthy
Denver, Colorado and Dallas, Texas, he then moved to Los Angeles in late 1975, were he began touring with many different artists.
In 1979 he met guitarist Robben Ford and keyboardist Russell Ferrante and formed a group along with drummer Ricky Lawson to record Robben's first solo recording on Electra-Asylum. This album, called " The Inside Story" was produced by legendary guitarist Steve Cropper and became a landmark recording. That album led to the formation of The Yellowjackets and in 1980 they recorded a debut album for Warners Bros. Records. This critically acclaimed and self-produced band has since recorded an additional 14 titles.
The Yellowjackets have been nominated for eleven Grammy's and are two time Grammy winners.
They have also received a Dove award for their contribution on the Quest Records compilation recording entitled "Handel's Messiah; A Soulful Celebration".Jimmy has produced a number of artists over the last twelve years including Michael Franks: "Dragonfly Summer","Abandoned Garden",
"Barefoot on the Beach"; Marilyn Scott:"Sky Dancing", "Smile", "Take Me
With You", "Avenue of Love"; Eric Marienthal: "One Touch"; Native Vibe; "Spirits";
Gino Vannelli: "Slow Love";Take 6, Brenda Russell, Lori Perry, Bobby Caldwell, Al Jarreau,
Ivan Lins, Bobby McFerrin, Robben Ford and Chaka Khan: on various projects.
Jimmy also produced and released his debut solo project in 1993, entitled "ARC"
for the GRP label. This critically acclaimed recording featured Vince Mendoza, John Scofield,
Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine, Luis Conte, Andy Narell, Judd Miller, Chuck Findley, Dave Sammuels,
Bob Mintzer, John Beasley, Chuck Findley, Joshua Redman, William Kennedy, Stev
e Croes and Lenny Pickett. He is currently finished working on his second solo project entitled
"Red Heat" with co-producer Joe Vannelli for the Unitone Recording Label.
Due out this summer 2000.
Jimmy is also actively writing, arranging, producing and performing with Yellowjackets, who are currently touring to promote their latest recording entitled "Club Nocturne" and a new "Best of Yellowjackets" for Warner Bros. Records.
On the Educational side :
Jimmy and the Yellowjackets have two song books on the market.
The first published by Hal Leonard Music, is a song book for the music from
the 1987 recording of "Four Corners". The second and released in 1997, is "Th
e Yellowjackets Song Book", which features 20 various tunes and is published
by Sher Music, who has also published many Yellowjackets compositions in four
volumes of fake books called "the Real Books".
The Yellowjackets also have been honored by the Berklee School of
Music, by adding two elective courses to their curriculum based on the music
written by the Yellowjackets. One is a lab class, "The Music of The
Yellowjackets", is a lab class where students perform the music for credit.
The second class is called "Beyond Functional Harmony" . The cirriculum
written by professor Wayne Naus and is a study of the harmonic construction
of Yellowjackets composition for college credit.
Jimmy has also written an instructional bass book for Warner
Publications/Belwin Music entitled "The Melodic Library for Bass" and he also
collaborated in 2 other educational books. One being "Lessons with the Greats
" which consisted of written clinics by Jimmy and 5 other bassists: Alfonso
Johnson, Lincoln Goines, Victor Wooten, Rocco Francis Prestia, and Mark Egan.
The other contribution was to "Standing in the Shadows of Motown"
a tribute book about legendary bassist James Jamerson Sr., who was
responsible for the unmistakable "Motown Sound".
Jimmy has also taught hundreds of master classes/clinics and
workshops in music stores and colleges all over the United States, Canada and
Europe between 1981 and 2000.
He and the Yellowjackets are affiliated with the IAJE . . .
The international association of Jazz Educators.
He has been teaching in residency at LAMA (the Los Angeles Music
Academy) in Pasadena, California for the last two years.
He has also been writing a quarterly educational column in a
popular San Diego Based musicians magazine called "Bassics" for the last
three and a half years.
Here are a few of the artists that Jimmy has recorded and performed with over
the last 29 years:
Gino Vannelli / David Sanborn / Rod Stewart / Joe Cocker / Chaka Khan / Al Jarreau /
Crosby,Stills & Nash / Brenda Russell / Dave Mason / Kenny Loggins / Flora Purim & Airto / Diana Ross / Lalah Hathaway / Rick Braun / Chi Coltrane / George Harrison / Neil Larson / Tom Scott /
Dwight Sils / Ricki Lee Jones / Vonda Shepard / Mitchell Froom / Gary Wright / Tommy Bolin / Roy Ayers / Lee Ritenour / Robben Ford / Kenny G / Bob Mintzer / Glenn Jones / Ivan Lins / Milton Nasciamento / Harvey Mason / Andy Summers / Bruce Willis / Vince Mendoza / T Lavitz / Eric Marienthal / Jon Anderson / Herb Alpert / Cheech Marin / El DeBarge / Walter Becker / Rosie Vela / Ernie Watts / Kevyn Letteau / Harvey Mandel / Dusty Springfield / Pat Metheny Dave Koz / Michael Penn / Bonnie Raitt / George Duke / Everett Harp / Jerry Garcia / Jimmy Barnes / Michael Bolton / Ron Wood / Marilyn Scott / Marc Antione / Michael Franks Will Downing / Larry Carlton / Selena / Diane Reeves / Toots Thielmanns / Kurt Elling / Jonathan Butler / Michael McDonald / Joshua Redman / John Scofield / Randy Brecker /
Peter Erskine / Leni Stern / Brian Setzer / Michiel Bortslap / Bill Champlin / Ronnie Montrose /
The Rippingtons / Steve Khan/Trio Electric / Joe Sample / Branford Marsalis / Bela Fleck / Bobby McFerrin / Take 6 / Anita Baker / Donald Fagan / Bruce Hornsby
Some Film Score Sessions :
Star Trek IV Taps
Quicksilver Skin Deep
Bright Lights Big City Weird Science
Twice Upon a Time Gunmen
How I Got To College Flipper
All Day Bath Robe Man Defiance
Wired to kill Lover Boy
Humanoids of the Deep Soul Man
The Jungle Book Thief Of Hearts
Short Circuit Poltergeist II
Barney's Great Adventure The Fan
How Stella Got Her Groove Back