Pino Palladino is one of the most sought after and highly esteemed musicians of the past 30 years, known internationally for his versatile approach to bass playing. In a prolific and varied career as a session musician he has played with the likes of The Who, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Herbie Hancock, and countless others. Even the briefest look through his discography takes us down paths as varied as playing for legendary rock guitarists such as Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, to being a member of left-field collective the Soulquarians, working alongside revolutionary musicians such as J Dilla and D’Angelo.
Starting his professional career in the early 1980’s, Palladino played for many successful artists of the time, including Paul Young, Gary Numan and Don Henley. His experimental use of fretless bass (rather than the traditional fretted bass) at this time was something that had not been done in mainstream music before and influenced the sound of music of that decade in a significant way. Over the next ten years he established himself as one of the key musicians of his time.
In the 1990’s, and moving away from the fretless bass, Palladino continued to play with a diverse selection of artists – Eric Clapton, Richard Ashcroft, Oleta Adams – to name just a few. In 1997 whilst playing with drummer Steve Jordan on BB Kings duets album “Deuces Wild”, he met D’Angelo, beginning a working relationship that carries on to the present day. Palladino went on to play on D’Angelo’s seminal opus ‘Voodoo” in 2000. The huge success of this album, and the groundbreaking yet understated bass lines that Palladino contributed, meant that he quickly became the go-to-man for what was then being called ‘Neo-Soul’, playing on albums such as Erykah Badu’s ‘Mama’s Gun’, and Common’s ‘Like Water for Chocolate’, among many others. Since then Pino has continued to record on D’Angelo’s GRAMMY nominated album, ‘Black Mesiah.’
In 2002, after the death of John Entwistle, Palladino became bass player for legendary rock band The Who, going on to tour with them for the next 8 years. In 2003 he joined Simon & Garfunkel’s band for a successful reunion tour. In 2005 singer/songwriter John Mayer asked Palladino and Steve Jordan to play with him at a charity benefit in New York. With Mayer wanting to go down a more blues inspired route, and with the three agreeing they had considerable chemistry, they soon after formed the John Mayer Trio and later that year released a live album, ‘Try’, which went on to be nominated for the Best Rock Album Grammy. Palladino went to play on Mayer’s next two studio albums – ‘Continuum’ and ‘Battle Studies’ – with the former being regarded as a modern classic by many.
Apart from his bass playing, Palladino is also known for his songwriting and production credits, with artists including Erykah Badu, Common, Talib Kweli, Bilal and John Mayer.
Palladino has played on two of the biggest selling albums in recent years – Adele’s six time GRAMMY award winning ‘21’, and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’.
Palladino has toured with D’Angelo extensively. The interest in Palladino’s involvement in these shows, and the reaction of audiences to his presence, show how relevant this particular musician still is within an industry that is changing by the minute. One of the most highly regarded names in the industry, and with a lifetime’s experience in music, Pino Palladino has created sounds that have been enjoyed by millions – and will surely go on to create many more.
2019 will be a very busy year for Pino. He will be touring with John Mayer internationally.