Dean Taba

Dean Taba

dean_taba_1Now a highly regarded studio and freelance musician, Dean Taba began his musical studies on the piano at the age of 6 and played french horn in the Hawaii Youth Symphony. It was a desire to play in the high school jazz band that introduced him to the bass and improvised music. After extensive studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a refinement of his skills on both the acoustic and electric bass, Dean relocated in 1984 to Los Angeles to become one of it’s most in demand musicians.

Also a respected clinician and educator (Los Angeles Music Academy, Musician’s Institute, Cal-Poly Pomona, Grove School of Music) Dean has recently performed/recorded with David Benoit, Andy Summers, Sadao Watanabe, The San Francisco Symphony, Hiroshima, Rick Braun, The American Jazz Institute Orchestra, Dave Koz, Jeff Richman, The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Kilauea, Bill Watrous, and many others as well as playing on countless CDs, TV shows, and movie sound tracks.dean_taba_2 

In spite of his busy schedule, Dean is always sure to devote time to writing music for his own projects, one of which has just released a self titled CD, More Is More. This innovative jazz ensemble utilizes an unorthodox instrumentation of two drum sets, trumpet, sax, and bass.

Dean emphasizes, “I am grateful for every opportunity to make and share music”. Bassist Dean Taba has made quite an impression on the L.A. Jazz scene in a decade of straight-ahead gigs with the best and brightest of our local artists. His walking bass leads this session of innovative originals. Recorded last August at The Baked Potato and at the Los Angeles Music Academy, Taba’s program features two drummers: one on the left and one on the right. Fortunately, the mix keeps both rhythm masters in perspective.

Tenor saxophonist Andy Suzuki and trumpeter Steve Huffsteter provide the melody, as well as mood-defining harmonies. The two drum sets give Taba’s session a driving spark. Both Kendall Kay and Tim McIntyre enhance from the sides. Dave Allen narrates a unique, improvised piece about living in L.A.

Taba leads with the force of Charles Mingus, changing tempos as he wishes, when he sees fit. His “Think of Juan” is a piece inspired by the classic confrontation between Mingus and Juan Tizol one night when both were working with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

With his extended composition, Taba captures that Mingus touch, which is always a joy to discover in modern jazz.

Abe Laboriel

abe_laboriel_1Abraham Laboriel, Sr. (b. July 17, 1947) Abraham Laboriel is a world renowned bassist and the founder of the band KOINONIA. He was born and raised in Mexico City where he received his earliest musical training from his father, a gifted guitarist and composer. His first recording was at age 10 as part of a “rock and roll” group called “Los Traviesos”.

After performing in Mexico thru his teen years as both a musician and an actor, he moved to Boston where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the Berklee School of Music in 1972. During that time he recorded with faculty member, famed vibraphonist Gary Burton. He traveled with Johnny Mathis, Michel Legrand, and Henry Mancini and moved to Los Angeles in 1976 to begin a very diverse and fruitful studio recording career.

Abe has played on over 3,000 recordings and soundtracks. Guitar Player Magazine described him as: “the most widely used session bassist of our time”. Laboriel is the father of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. He swiched to bass guitar while studying at the Berklee School of Music. Henry Mancini encouraged Laboriel to move to Los Angeles,abe_laboriel_2 California and pursue a career in music.

Since then, he has worked with artists as diverse as George Benson, Larry Carlton, the Crusaders, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Al Jarreau, John Klemmer, Manhattan Transfer, Joe Pass, Joe Sample, Lalo Shifrin, Diane Schuur, Sara Vaughan, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Ray Charles, Madonna, Paul Simon, Keith Green, Lisa Loeb, Quincy Jones, Russ Taff, Engelbert Humperdinck, Crystal Lewis, Chris Isaak, Michael Jackson, and Joe Zawinul. He recorded with Lee Ritenour, Ernie Watts, and Alex Acuna in a band called “Friendship” and has continued to record and travel with Lee and Dave Grusin for GRP Records.

He also has been much in demand for work with artists like Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Jeffrey Osborne, Chaka Khan, Robbie Robertson, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Ruben Blades and countless others. He was in fact voted by his peers in the LA Chapter of NARAS as the “Most Valuable Player” in the Bass chair for the three years in a row, joining Ray Brown and Chuck Domanico in that honor. When Laboriel recorded his three solo albums (Dear Friends, Guidum ,and Justo & Abraham), he recruited a cast of musicians that included Alex Acuna, Jarreau, Jim Keltner, Phillip Bailey, and others.

Jimmy Haslip

Artist Profile:

jimmy_haslip_1Jimmy Haslip grew up in a rich musical environment. As a youth, he listened to Latin and salsa music around the house, including such Latin music icons as Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Machito, Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz and Eddie Palmieri, to name a few. In addition to learing various Latin dances from his parents, Jimmy learned how to play a lot of basic Latin rhythms on the different percussion instruments that they had around the house.

He learned to play authentically on the claves, maracas, cowbell, bongos and the guido, which gave him that keen sense of time and rhythm that surfaces in his bass playing today.
His older brother Gabriel also played Jimmy some jazz and classical music, so he had exposure to John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Eric Dolphy, Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck on one hand, and the music ofjimmy_haslip_2 Debussy, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mozart and Mahler on the other.

Jimmy says, “This was an eye opening time for me and even though most of this music was over my head, it definitely ignited my musical curiosity. I also was listening to a lot of Pop music, like the Beatles, the Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and lots of great Pop music on the radio. I can remember that it was a very exciting time for music!”

Jimmy began studying music in elementary school, playing the trumpet and other assorted brass instruments (including the bugle, baritone horn and tuba) from age seven to fourteen. Jimmy picked up a bass at the age of fifteen and taught himself how to play it. “Actually the very first time I saw an electric bass, was at a junior high Valentine’s day dance. There was a live band playing and the bass player had an reddish/orange Hagstrom bass and a small Standel bass amp. It was then that I knew I wanted to play the electric bass! What a feeling! I’ll never forget it as long as I live. It was my very first real spark of creative passion!”

jimmy_haslip_3While being mostly self taught on the bass, Jimmy studied with a private bass/tuba player from New York named Ron Smith. He was also very fortunate to have studied with one of jazz music’s greatest talents. “…I did manage to study with Jaco Pastorius for a few weeks in the mid seventies, when he had just joined Weather Report. That was a giant leap for me as a serious musician and it filled me with a much higher level of inspiration. I think he was a major inspiration to all bass players at that time!”

To sum it up, Jimmy offers this inspirational piece of advice that is applicable to any musician, whether new or experienced: “I’ve basically learned so much from just about every musician I’ve performed with in the past and I will continue to learn from my experiences in the future. The learning process is never ending. The key is to always strive and search for knowledge. In learning new things everyday, there will be inspiration. That inspiration will thirst for knowledge and so the endless cycle goes. They will feed each other infinitely and theoretically the ‘creative well’ will never run dry.”


So, what musical influences does Jimmy claim? “Well definitely for me the Beatles, especially Paul McCartney, inspired the melodic concept and James Brown inspired the groove. There was Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria who inspired rhythm. Béla Bartók, Mozart, Prokofiev, Samuel Barber, Chick Corea, early Genesis, Gentle Giant, Olivier Messiaen, Dmitri Shostakovich,Krzysztof Penderecki, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Villalobos, Brahms, Wayne Shorter, Zawinul, Jaco Pastorius, Alban Berg, Mingus, Miles,Nicolas Slominski, Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Basie, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, The Motown Sound and Aaron Copeland, just to name a few that inspired writing, arranging and composition.

“Van Gogh, Dali, Henri Rousseau, Georgia O’keeffe, Leonardo DaVinci, Galileo, Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Plato, Walt Whitman, Marc Chagall, Henry Moore, Edward Hopper, Rembrandt, Picasso, Botero, Matisse, Escher, Canaletti, Gaudi, Gauguin, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Speilberg, Frank Capra,Orson Welles, Lina Wertmuller, Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut to name a few who inspired my imagination.”

And last but not least, perhaps the most influential person in Jimmy’s career: “Jimi Hendrix was the sole inspiration for me playing music as a profession. Seeing him perform live was awsome and it lit a fire within me, which eventually gave me the drive to pursue music as a career.”
Jimmy also plays on the following projects released over the past year: Everette Harp “Better Times”, Dwight Sils “Easy”, Warren Sneed “Brothers”, Glenn Jones “It’s Time”, Gary Wright “Best of the Dreamweaver”, Marc Antione “Madrid”, Ricky Lawson and friends “First Things 1st” , “Heart and Soul – New Songs from Ally McBeal” featuring Vonda Shepard, John Molo’s “Modereko” Gerald Albright/Will Downing “Pleasures of the Night”, and Tribute to Lowell George “Rock n’ Roll Doctor”.

Artists Jimmy Has Performed With

Jimmy’s credits are a virtual who’s who of the popular and jazz music industry. This is the “short list” of some of the talents he has recorded and/or toured with over the past 25 years:

Gino Vannelli, David Sanborn, Rod Stewart, Michael Sembello, Joe Cocker, Vince Mendoza, Chaka Khan, Eric Marienthal, Al Jarreau, John Scofield, Gary Wright, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Brenda Russell, Dave Mason, Tom Scott, Jerry Garcia, Bo Didley, Marilyn Scott, Dori Caymmi, Betty Wright, Ivan Lins, Kenny Loggins, Flora Purim & Airto, Rickie Lee Jones, El DeBarge, Chi Coltrane, The Chiffons, The 5 Satins, Larry Carlton, Chubby Checker, Booker T. Jones, Cheech Marin, Mick Fleetwood & the Zoo, Kiss, Christopher Williams, Michael Penn, John Klemmer, John Finley, Tommy Bolin, Carmine Appice, Charlie Watts, Michael Narada Walden, Milton Nasciamento, Christopher Williams, Roy Ayers, Mark Stein, Kiss, Lee Ritenour, Laura Brannigan, Jackie Lomax, Bobby Caldwell, John Ford Coley, Randy Crawford, Harvey Mandel, Diane Reeves, James Ingram, Ricardo Silveira, Bill Gable, Michael Franks, Bonnie Raitt, Pat Metheny, Jerry Garcia, Al Stewart, Jimmy Barnes, Branford Marsalis, Blackjack w/ Michael Bolton, Dave Koz, Kenny G, Steve Reid, Bob Mintzer, Bob Mamet, Bob Sheppard, Greg Karukas, Bruce Beckvar, Larry John McNally, Randy Brecker, Bob James, Vinnie Colaiuta, Max Carl, Sovory, Dusty Springfield, Andy Snitzer, Bill Gable, Aureo Baquiero, Kevyn Letteau, John Beasley, Don Grusin, Carl Anderson, James House, Jeff Richman, Nana Vasconcuelos, Boney James, Justo Almario, Kevin Mahogany, Hilary Jones, David Diggs, Michael Ruff, Diana Ross, Bobby Lyle, Vonda Shepard, Ambrosia, Pat Metheny, Eva Cassidy, Modereko, Marc Antione, Sergio Salvatore, Robben Ford, Dave Samuel’s, Andy Narell, Bill Champlin, Michael English, Huey Lewis, Toots Thielmanns, Selena, Harvey Mason, Paulinho Da Costa, Alex Acuña, Herb Alpert, Tim Hagans, Michael Davis, David Meece, Lisa Fischer, Mike Pinera, Paulinho Da Costa, Tower of Power Horns, Richard Page, Steve Khan/Trio Electric, Peter Erskine, Dennis Chambers, Andy Laverne, Terry Bozzio, Kiki Ebsen, Joe Sample, David Benoit, Ron Wood, Ndugu Leon Chancelor, Richard Elliot, Warren Sneed, Neil Larson, The Rippingtons, Jeff Beal, Jon Anderson, Nigel Olsen, Joshua Redman, Native Vibe, Michael McDonald, Phil Perry, Everette Harp, Kevyn Lettau, Kenny Garrett, Sandro Albert, Otmaro Ruiz, Gerald Albright, Bruce Willis, Chuck Loeb, Jonathan Butler, Luis Conte, Dwight Sils, Alphonse Mouzon, Glenn Jones, Mitchell Froom, Michiel Bortslap, Terri Lynn Carrington, Patrice Rushen, Andy Summers, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Take 6, Anita Baker, Kurt Elling, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Bruce Hornsby, Randy Newman, Brian Auger and George Harrison, etc.