Pino Palladino (born on 17 October 1957 in Cardiff, Wales, UK) is a rock and rhythm and blues bass player of Italian ancestry.
Palladino began playing bass at the age of 17, having played the electric guitar for some time before that. His first professional gig was at a local television station in Cardiff, where he began playing in 1978. In 1980, he joined the band of Jools Holland
and appeared on the album Jools Holland and the Millionaires
.In the 1980s, Palladino became famous playing the fretless bass
with many artists including Gary Numan
, Paul Young
, David Gilmour
, Tears for Fears
, and Don Henley
. In the 1990s, he favoured fretted basses with Melissa Etheridge
, Richard Wright
, Elton John
and Eric Clapton
. Also in 1991 he joined Paul Rodgers
of Bad Company
fame, to form the band The Law
In the late 1990s, Palladino established himself as the go-to person for session work in a lot of left of center neo soul projects. Most notable is his bass work on Voodoo for D'Angelo, Mama's Gun for Erykah Badu, 1st Born Second for Bilal, Like Water for Chocolate and Electric Circus for Common as well as work for Jazzyfatnastees, Nikka Costa, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Musiq, The RH Factor, and countless others. He was a silent member of the Soulquarian production team consisting of D'angelo, James Poyser, ?uestlove, and J Dilla. Along with Phil Collins, he was a member of the house band for the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, which played with Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Cliff Richard, and Tony Bennett, among others. In 2002, after The Who bassist John Entwistle died, Palladino became the fulltime touring bass guitarist and recorded some of the bass parts for The Who's first album in twenty-four years, which was released in October 2006, called Endless Wire.
In 2003, he played with Simon and Garfunkel on their "Old Friends" reunion tour and he appears on the Old Friends: Live on Stage CD and DVD from the tour. He also plays on Paul Simon's 2006 release, Surprise. In spring of 2006, Palladino toured with Jeff Beck. He also played on J. J. Cale and Eric Clapton's 2006 album The Road to Escondido. He also has worked with John Mayer and Steve Jordan as bassist for the John Mayer Trio and also for Mayer's third solo album Continuum.
Pino joined Eric Clapton's touring band for 11 dates in the Eastern U.S. and Canada in May 2008. He is also working with Clapton and Robbie Robertson for a upcoming album. He also played bass for Amos Lee on his third album, Last Days at the Lodge.
His full discography can be seen on his website at www.pinopalladino.com
Pino Palladino is noted for his use of the fretless bass in many 1980s chart records. While it was typical for a bass guitar in a commercial track to have a rather generic sound and stay "playing the low notes" Palladino preferred a different sound (combining fretless tone
with an octave effect
) and basslines that frequently added chords, lead lines and counter melodies. Typical of this style was his playing on Paul Young
's biggest chart hits, in particular his bass solo on Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)
. His equipment at that time included a fretless Music Man StingRay Bass 1979 and Boss Octave pedal (OC-2).
The Fender Pino Palladino Signature Precision Bass is modeled after two of Pino's Fender Precision basses. The body featuring faded fiesta red paint over desert sand paint is based on Pino's 1961 Precision Bass while the neck shape and round-lam rosewood fret board are based on Pino's 1963 sunburst Precision Bass