HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Whether as a producer, arranger or bassist, Yossi Fine’s unique and undeniable talents have made him one of the most in demand names throughout a number of different genres. Throughout his years of playing and recording, he has worked with everyone from David Bowie and Lou Reed to Stanley Jordan and Gil Evans and even as far outreaching as Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Naughty By Nature and Gnawa master Hassan Hakmoun.
A career spanning two decades and six continents includes seven gold and platinum CDs, Yossi fully engineered and produced over 25 albums, while contributing the bass on more than 150.
Surrounded by music and musicians ever since the very beginning, Yossi was born in Paris, France to a West Indian vocalist and an Israeli guitar player. By age four he had already picked up a guitar and by his early teens was already an in-demand session artist playing with some of Israel’s top artists.
Yossi’s intercontinental background and undeniable talent on the bass were quickly put to use in 1985 when he entered the New York City scene, working with such legendary artists as Delmar Brown, Kenwood Denard, Gil Evans Orchestra, Kenny Kirkland, John Scofield, salsa great Ruben Blades, and later on, neo-soul artist Me’Shell N’Degeocello.
Yossi went on to achieve national recognition in 1991 when he received a Grammy nomination for his instrumental composition for “Always Know” on Jordan’s Cornucopia. More doors began to open as Yossi was invited by David Bowie and Brian Eno to play on Bowie’s Outside and was also invited to participate in Deepak Chopra’s A Gift of Love featuring Madonna, Demi Moore and others.
Riding high from all of his success, in 1995 Yossi decided to return to Israel where he worked prolifically as a record producer, coaxing the sound of some of the most influential bands in that country over the next 10 years, making a profound impact on the way hip hop and reggae is produced throughout Israel.
With a focus on keeping the bass heavy and groove-oriented deliveries, his production works lent Yossi to be considered by many of his peers in Israel as a ground-breaking producer and the current leading Godfather of Hip-Hop, Reggae and World Music sounds. In 2005, Yossi cemented his recognition receiving Israel’s prestigious Acum Award for his role as Producer of the Year for Hadag Nahash’s hip-hop album, Homer Mekomi (which also went on to win the group band and song of the year).
Since then, Yossi’s influence in the production world has gone global, producing top Jamaican artists including conscious-dancehall master Anthony B to the modern roots sounds of Prezident Brown & Chedizek; mixing Malian blues griot Vieux Farka Toure; to Indian electronic musician Karsh Kale; Fine’s engineering skills remain in high demand.
Yossi’s production style of using traditional African instruments alongside funky grooves and deep bass lines was noticed by the famous hip-hop label LOUD Records in 2000. There, Yossi was to produce modern World Beat music and Jamaican artists into the label as well while developing the reggae division.
That year, Yossi’s world music project ‘Ex-Centric Sound System’ was signed by LOUD and the first CD, Electric Voodooland, was released in 2000 to critical acclaim and became a successful internationally touring band. The progressive world music collective released two additional albums and went on to embark on numerous successful worldwide tours, performing at such prestigious venues as Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, New York’s Central Park Summerstage and the Montreal Jazz Festival, winning the praise from such publications as Source, Vibe, New York Post and Chicago Reader while gaining fans across the globe.
His most recent project comes in the form of Live from Jerusalem, an album of his solo bass performance recorded during last year’s tour of Israel. Funky and deep at times, Yossi creates multiple loops live on stage and then layers the brief samples over top of each other: all free style and 100% improvised. Engaging audiences worldwide by building the energy in the room with sheer sonic waves, Fine’s solo bass shows stand as a remarkable accomplishment, a testament to both the places he has been and those that he is still heading.