Ranked #22 on the Digital Dream Door list of greatest fusion bassists. In 1986, Earl moved to New York, where on the recommendation of his friend Steve Hunt, he joined the Jazz Explosion. Within this organization, he backed up: Gato Barbieri, Angela Bofill, Tom Browne, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Freddie Hubbard, Phyllis Hyman, Ramsey Lewis, Lonnie Liston Smith, and Stanley Turrentine. Here, he met his friend and mentor Stanley Clarke. Soon, he joined Clarke's "three bassists" tour of Brazil with Larry Graham. Shortly thereafter, Earl went to New York's Blue Note, where he met Joe Sample, who invited him to tour with the Crusaders. During 1986 and 1987, he performed on their tours of the United States, Japan, and Europe. In 1988, Earl relocated to Los Angeles, CA. During this year, he recorded on Clarke's album If This Bass Could Only Talk. It was followed, in 1993, by East River Drive, on which Earl is credited with helping to compose the song "I'm Home Africa". In 1993, Earl replaced John Patitucci in Chick Corea's Elektric Band, which immediately went on tour. That year, he also recorded on Elektric Band II:Paint the World. Here, he composed, with Corea, the tunes "Ished", "Spanish Sketch", and "Reprise". This album was nominated for the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. In 2002, he participated in the Elektric Band's reunion tour of the United States, which included two performances at the Blue Note. In another reunion, Earl performed on Manhattan Transfer's album The Chick Corea Songbook (2009).In 1993, while touring with Corea, Earl performed in Rome with the Italian superstar Pino Daniele, who invited him, and Corea, to record on the album Che Dio ti benedica. This was the first of five albums he recorded with Daniele from 1993 to 1999. In 1995, while touring with Daniele to promote Non calpestare i fiori nel deserto, he played in Milan with Pat Metheny.In that year, he recorded Jimmy Earl, which featured David Batteau, Mitchel Forman, Gambale, Deron Johnson, Gary Novak, Rique Pantoja, Randy Roos, Steve Tavaglione, and Dave Weckl. This album presents Earl's solo bass rendition of Maurice Ravel's "Pavane for a Dead Princess" (1899). It was followed, in 1997, by his second album Stratosphere, which features John Beasley, Daniele, Johnson, Forman, and Simon Phillips. It is an exploration into combining performances by live musicians with electronic music.In 1996, Tom Brechtlein recommended Earl as a replacement for Roscoe Beck in Robben Ford's band, The Blue Line, which was about to go on a bus tour of Europe. On returning, Ford started a new band, which began with a series of West Coast performances. These included appearances at Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood, and at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA,where Vinnie Colaiuta was featured on drums. Soon, Ford's album Supernatural was recorded and released in 1999. In 2001, Ford's band recorded New Morning: The Paris Concert. This DVD captured a live performance at the New Morning club in Paris. It was followed, in 2002, by Ford's first album with Concord Jazz, Blue Moon, on which Earl is credited with producing "Good to Love". Later, Earl recorded on two more Ford albums: Keep on Running (2003), and Truth (2007), which was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Moreover, in August 2007, Truth became the number one blues album on Billboard's charts.In 2003, he recorded on the album Man @ Work with Colin Hay. Earl's work with Man @ Work is only one of dozens of collaborations and compilations in which he performed as a guest artist. In the discography, there is a listing of some of these appearances, but it is more representative than exhaustive.Jimmy Kimmel Live!In late 2002, Jimmy Earl was invited to join a new band, Cleto and the Cletones, which had just been tapped to be the house band on the ABC late-night television program Jimmy Kimmel Live! Since the show began in January 2003, the band, led by Cleto Escobedo III, has performed at the El Capitan Theatre, in more than 1,600 episodes.After the show, and on weekends, Earl performs once or twice per month at the Baked Potato club in Studio City. Here, he has appeared with: Dean Brown, Deron Johnson, Scott Kinsey, Simon Phillips, Jeff Richman, Steve Tavaglione, and Steve Weingart. From time to time, he appears with "king of the funky drums", Zigaboo Modeliste, and with salsa queen Cecilia Nol and the Wild Clams. Earl's association with the Wild Clams goes back to 1995, when he performed with them at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana. This concert ended "a 16 year cultural cold war", during which American musical groups were banned from Cuba.
Solo albums 2012 - Jimmy Earl (Severn) 2012 - Stratosphere (Severn) 1995 - Jimmy Earl (EFA) 1999 - Stratosphere (Pacific Time Entertainment)With The Mark Varney Project 1990 - Truth in Shredding (Legato) 1990 - Centrifugal Funk (Legato) With Stanley Clarke 1988 - If This Bass Could Only Talk (Portrait) 1993 - East River Drive (Epic) (Sony) With Chick Corea 1993 - Paint the World (GRP) 1996 - The Songs of West Side Story (RCA Victor) 2004 - The Very Best of Chick Corea (Universal) With Pino Daniele 1993 - Che Dio ti benedica (Musicrama) 1995 - Non calpestare i fiori nel deserto (GCD) 1997 - Dimmi cosa succede sulla terra (Musicrama) 1998 - Yes I Know My Way (GCD) 1999 - Come un gelato all'equatore (GCD)With Robben Ford 1999 - Supernatural (Blue Thumb) 2001 - New Morning: The Paris Concert, DVD, (In-Akustik) 2002 - Blue Moon (Concord Jazz) 2003 - Keep on Running (Concord Jazz) 2007 - Truth (Concord)