Groove – Episode #14: Jeff Berlin

Jeff Berlin

Jeff Berlin had a moment that he describes as “the dark night of the soul” at the age of sixty. Now, he’s 63 and he’s reflecting. He’s reflecting on his career as one of the most influential electric bass players who has ever lived, and he’s being critical of just how critical he has been about the state of the electric bass, the education behind it and his own, highly provocative, thinking about life. He had this “personality” for a long time (with a negative bite), and he wants things to change.

Berlin is an accomplished bass player. From his days with Bill Buford and Allan Holdsworth to his many solo efforts (including 2013’s Low Standards). He was an integral part in the creation of the Bass Institute of Technology, and even turned down an offer – back in the day – from Eddie Van Halen to join the band.

Now, Berlin is about to create a new album over at Pledge Music as a tribute to one his biggest inspirations (Jack Bruce). This is a new Jeff Berlin. Enjoy the conversation…

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  1. It’s great to see him go through this self-assessment/reflection. It’s producing a gentler, kinder, more humble human being which ultimately is far more important than being a great musician.

  2. MikeyOnBass

    Very interesting view points on a couple of topics. I hope he finds and is able to stay in a ‘peaceful’ space of feeling. Good podcast Mitch – thanks!

  3. Jefferson

    One more great interview Mitch.
    I’ve to say that was not expecting to hear such things here, but, man, some points made by Jeff really Made me stop and check some old concepts that I have regarding music.
    Thanks you both for that.
    Keep on groovin’.

  4. David Heafey

    Wow, one of the BEST podcasts of the series. I’d formulated an opinion of Jeff based on his online interactions and it wasn’t kind. Then I’d heard he turned himself around, so I wanted to hear for myself. I greatly respect those that recognize they have a problem and work to correct, especially if they have to open themselves up to others during the process.

    Jeff’s words about first learning the mechanics resonate with me and it’s something I know I’ve neglected over the years. I hope to make improvements soon by putting in the work and after listening to Jeff, feel more inspired than ever to do so.