Doug Wimbish has had an amazing career.
As a sought-after master of his instrument, Doug has recorded and performed with a diverse roster of talent over the years. From his early days with Sugarhill records to pioneering work with Tackhead and Living Colour, Doug has also added The Rolling Stones, Mos Def, Depeche Mode, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Jeff Beck, and Seal to his list. He is truly best described as a journeyman.
Doug Wimbish hails from Bloomfield, CT, and it was there that he began playing guitar and bass. After receiving a guitar as a present from his parents, he began playing when he was 12 years old.
Doug Wimbish grew up to the sounds of the 60s and 70s and was inspired to play music by hearing such greats as Miles Davis, George Clinton, and Sly & the Family Stone. He was also influenced by his brother Victor, and his Uncle Joey and Aunt Naomi. During summer vacations spent in the Bahamas visiting his aunt and uncle, Doug made frequent visits to his aunts music store, which fueled his desire to create music.
At the age of 16, Doug Wimbish decided to pursue his thirst for music by studying theory at the Hartford Conservatory. By seventeen, he discovered that the bass was where his passion lived. During this time he met drummer Harold Sergeant, who introduced him to jazz great Jackie McLean. While attending workshops at Mcleans local Artist Collective in Hartford, CT, Doug met guitarist Skip McDonald. Together they established an unrivaled reputation for their studio accomplishments, acting with drummer Sergeant, guitarist Barton Campbell, keyboardist Hubert Powell, saxophonist Otha Stokes, and trumpet player Randy Boss forming the band Wood Brass & Steel for All Platinum Records.
Doug then went on to work with 70s Super Disco group Musique, whose song Push Push in the Bush was a summer smash. In the summer of 1979 Doug and Skip met drummer Keith LeBlanc. This trio would become the legendary rhythm section behind the hits for Sugarhill Records. They performed on such classics as Grandmaster Flashs The Message, the Melle Mel album White Lines, and Angie Stones first record Funk You Up.
In 1984, at the suggestion of Tom Silverman, Doug Wimbish along with McDonald and LeBlanc, moved to London to work with British mixer/producer Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound. Together they formed the radical cutting edge ensemble Tackhead. They achieved success in the London underground and dance hall scene with hits like Mind at the End of Tether and Whats My Mission Now? They also did some work with Mark Stewart, formerly of Popgroup, Gary Clail, and Bim Sherman. Their first album Major Malfunction, a tackhead produced record for Keith LaBlanc is a classic. They went on to produce Friendly as a Hand Grenade, featuring vocalist Bernard Fowler, followed by the SBK album Strange Things.
Around this time Doug was also working with top Producer Arthur Baker who introduced him to guitarist Jeff Beck. Beck invited Doug to play in London with his band, which featured keyboardist Jan Hammer and drummer Simon Phillips. Through Beck, Doug met Mick Jagger, who was recording his second and third solo records Primitive Cool and Wandering Spirits at that time. From 1986-88 Doug went on to record on these albums and tour with Mick Jagger. Doug Wimbish would continue his studio work with artists such as Seal, Madonna, Joe Satriani, Annie Lenox, and The Rolling Stones through 1991.
In 1991, Dougs old friend, guitarist Vernon Reid, was looking for a bass player to replace Muzz Skilling, in his band Living Colour. While living in London, Dougs friend, drummer Will Calhoun, told him about the gig. Doug would replace Skillings and join Living Colour in 1992. He went on to record two successful albums: Stain and Pride. In 1993, Living Colour received a Grammy nomination for a song co-written by Doug, Leave It Alone.
From 1996-99, Doug Wimbish teamed up with his pal Will Calhoun, and vocalist Vinx, to create the group Jungle Funk. Their sound is described as drum and bass infused poetic music. The band performed over 200 shows and festivals internationally during this time period, including The Montreux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival. Jungle Funk's album Jungle Funk received critical acclaim, including mention for album of the year in Australia.
Doug Wimbish has other innovative projects in the works. Among these are Headfake, another collaboration between the explosive drum and bass team of Wimbish and Calhoun. The sound of this effort can be described as a live fusion between DJ, and musician fueled, trance inducing rhythms. In 1999, Doug released a solo effort titled Trippy Notes for Bass on Adrian Sherwoods On-u Sound label.
On December 22, 2000 Living Colour re-formed for a one-off show at New York's legendary CBGB's. The show was dynamite and rekindled the desire of Doug, Vernon, Will and Corey Glover to play together. A small tour of the West coast drew huge and enthusiastic crowds. Then they were off for a string of dates in Europe, including the Montreux Jazz Festival. The summer of 2001 saw LC playing another mini tour of the States, this time on the East Coast. The tour was highlighted by an amazing show in Central Park.
In 2002, after recording and touring the US with Mos Def, for his Black Jack Johnson album, Doug Wimbish came back to New York City to record the album Collidescope with Living Colour. Doug also co-wrote and played bass on a song that was written and produced by Kanye West, and featured on the movie soundtrack for Brown Sugar, starring Taye Diggs and Mos Def. The song reached #16 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #4 on R&B/Hip Hop chart. Doug also co-wrote a song called The Jump Off, for the movie soundtrack for the Italian Job, which also co-starred Mos Def.
The last three years have kept Doug extremely busy. Doug Wimbish has been producing, recording and touring with Living Colour, Tackhead, Little Axe, Headfake, Mark Stewart & The Mafia, Czech gypsy funk band Gulo Car, and Brazilian singer Fernando Porta among others. Continuing to bless the stage at festivals and venues around the world, Doug displays his mastery of blending music and technology to lay his explosive rhythms that move the masses.
In 2004 Doug Wimbish appeared on major TV shows: Last Call with Carson Daily playing with Living Colour, Jay Lenos Tonight Show, the Jimmy Kimmel Show, and David Letterman, where he appeared with Emmy Award Nominee, and rapper Mos Def. Tackhead also reunited around this time with Bernard Fowler on vocals, Adrian Sherwood on the boards, and the trio of Wimbish, Leblanc, & McDonald and played a string of dates in Europe and the US. They will be releasing a new record called Tackhead Sound Crash on Virgin Records, Spring 2006. Go to tackhead.com for more info.
At this time Doug Wimbish teamed up with Joe Palombo and John McCarthy of Rock House Method to release an instructional DVD called New Dimensions for Bass. Doug also produced a record for guitarist McCarthy featuring Bernie Worrell, Will Calhoun, and Leo Nocentelli which will hit the streets Spring of 2006.
2005 presented new opportunities for Doug Wimbish. Headfake played the main stage at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, followed by a tour of the US with Little Axe, supporting Robert Plant. The first annual Wim-Bash took place at Sullys in Hartford, CT, where Doug brought together musicians Skip McDonald, Keith LeBlanc, Will Calhoun, Jamie Brennan and 13 year old Female guitar sensation Desireé Bassett. Doug also rejoined forces with old friend Clive Roberts, owner of Trace Elliott, to help him endorse and promote Trace Elliott bass amplifiers. Currently producing Desireé Bassett through his online record label Nova Sound System, Doug also has new releases on the way.
2006 kicked off with Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish joining Lauryn Hill onstage for a private show, followed with intensive touring all over Europe and Canada with Little Axe. The band was invited to perform at Real World Record anniversary party where they jammed with Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel.
Living Colour toured Europe fronted by Dug Pinnick, singer of legendary band, King's X. Doug stepped out on his own for strings of publically acclaimed gignicks all over Europe, recording and producing various artists while putting the final touches on his long awaited second solo record to be released on Enja records.