Music legend tells his whole story, along with some valuable career advice, in this brand new video interview!
Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
January 26, 2015
Abraham Laboriel, Sr., is one of the most widely recorded bass players in history. Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Laboriel moved to Boston in the late ‘60s, where he studied at the Berklee School of Music (later renamed Berklee College of Music). He eventually relocated to Los Angeles, upon the encouragement of Henry Mancini.
After a difficult start in L.A., Abraham was eventually hired by Al Jarreau to do a live album and a six-week tour of Europe, where he was noticed by Jarreau’s producers, Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt. Suddenly, the doors began to open up for Abe in the L.A. music scene. He began working with the likes of Steve Gadd, Jeff Porcaro, Jim Keltner and many of the other prominent studio musicians of that era.
Throughout the course of his brilliant career, Abraham Laboriel has played bass on over 5,000 albums. His bass playing can be heard on a wide variety of artists, covering a vast array of musical genres. Among the musicians with whom he has worked and/or recorded are: George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Dave Grusin, Dolly Parton, Donald Fagen, Lee Ritenour, Elton John, Christopher Cross, Larry Carlton, Englebert Humperdinck, Freddie Hubbard, Chris Isaak, Herb Alpert, Lalo Schifrin, Lisa Loeb, Madonna, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and countless others.
Laboriel was a founding member of Koinonia and Friendship. Currently he performs in Open Hands, with keyboardist Greg Mathieson, drummer Bill Maxwell and saxophonist Justo Almario. He is the father of Abraham Laboriel, Jr., the current drummer in Paul McCartney’s band.
FBPO’s Jon Liebman caught up with Abraham during the 2014 gathering of Bass Player Live! in Los Angeles, where Laboriel was the recipient of Bass Player’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Watch our interview with Abraham!