The casual music fan might not instantly recognize the name Jeff Berlin, but chances are they’ve heard at least one album where he played. Through his lengthy year career, Jeff has played with artists such as Bill Bruford, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Pat Martino, John McLaughlin, Yes, Frank Zappa, Patrick Moraz, Richie Kotzen, Derek Sherinian and many more. Known for his to-die-for bass tone and a relentless approach towards improving his technique, Jeff could be defined as a bass player’s bass player.
Born on in Queens, New York, Jeff studied violin from 4 until 14 years of age, and was inspired to play bass guitar after seeing The Beatles. He currently lives in Nashville, and continues his mission of spreading his extensive knowledge via a proven method of pedagogical musical training.
Jeff Berlin’s latest release came out earlier in 2022, and is entitled “Jack Songs”. As the name suggests, this is a tribute to his main influence, long time friend Jack Bruce, who sadly left us in 2014. As Jeff explains, this is not just a collection of cover songs, but a collage and re-imagining of Jack’s output. A slew of guests help Jeff fulfill his vision on the album: Sammy Hagar, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Gregg Bissonette, Eric Johnson, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Scott Henderson, Marcus Miller, Ron Carter, Tony Levin, Mark King, Billy Sheehan and many more. The album was produced by John McCracken, and is available through his website AT THIS LOCATION.
Sonic Perspectives collaborator Rodrigo Altaf sat down with Jeff to discuss the writing and recording of “Jack Songs”, his approach towards teaching bass, future plans, and that one time when Jeff jammed with Rush. Watch or listen to their all-encompassing conversation below and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, Sonic Perspectives is on Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter and YouTube, where you can be notified about new content we publish on a daily basis.