Jump to content

Abraham Laboriel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abraham Laboriel Sr.
Laboriel performing in 1994
Laboriel performing in 1994
Background information
Birth nameAbraham Laboriel López
Born (1947-07-17) July 17, 1947 (age 76)
Mexico City, Mexico
Instrument(s)Bass guitar

Abraham Laboriel López (born July 17, 1947) is a Mexican-American bassist who has played on over 4,000 recordings and soundtracks.[1] Guitar Player magazine called him "the most widely used session bassist of our time".[2][3] Laboriel is the father of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and of producer, songwriter, and film composer Mateo Laboriel.

Early life, family and education[edit]

Laboriel was born in Mexico City. His brother was Mexican rock singer Johnny Laboriel,[4] and his sister is Mexican singer, film and television actress Ella Laboriel. Their parents were Garifuna immigrants from Honduras.[5] The family was devoutly Catholic.[6] His father Juan José Laboriel started as a cab driver but in the 1920s became an integral part of the entertainment business in Mexico as a founding member of the actors', musicians', composers' and film workers' associations, eventually becoming involved in over 200 films in various capacities.

Abraham received classical training as a guitarist, but he switched to bass guitar while studying at the Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1972. During this time, he learned the importance of versatility as a musician.[7]


Henry Mancini encouraged Laboriel to move to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a recording career,[8] which he did in 1976. He struggled to find work for two years, before finding his first gig on a road tour with Olivia Newton-John. After a consequent European tour with Al Jarreau, Laboriel settled into a full-time studio career in Los Angeles.[7]

Laboriel has also worked with Alan Silvestri, Alvaro Lopez and Res-Q Band, Alvin Slaughter, Andraé Crouch, Andy Pratt, Andy Summers, Barbra Streisand, Billy Cobham, Chris Isaak, Christopher Cross, Crystal Lewis, Dave Grusin, DeBarge, Djavan, Dolly Parton, Don Felder, Don Moen, Donald Fagen, Dori Caymmi, Elton John, Engelbert Humperdinck, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Hanson, Herb Alpert, Herbie Hancock, Johnny Hallyday, Keith Green, Kelly Willard, Lalo Schifrin, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Leo Sayer, Lisa Loeb, Luis Miguel, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Nathan Davis, Paul Jackson Jr., Paul Simon, Phil Driscoll, Quincy Jones, Randy Crawford, Ray Charles, Ron Kenoly, Russ Taff, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Smith and Umberto Tozzi.

Laboriel was a founding member of the bands Friendship and Koinonia. With the latter, he recorded four albums.

In addition, he has recorded several solo albums on which he recruited a cast of musicians that included Alex Acuña, Al Jarreau, Jim Keltner, Phillip Bailey, Ron Kenoly, and others. His son Abe Laboriel Jr., a professional drummer, has played on some of the recordings.

Laboriel is member of the band Open Hands with Justo Almario, Greg Mathieson, and Bill Maxwell.

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2005, Abraham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the Berklee College of Music,[9] his alma mater.

He is ranked No. 42 on Bass Player magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time".[10]

Discography (partial)[edit]

  • 1993 Dear Friends
  • 1994 Guidum
  • 1995 Justo Almario & Abraham Laboriel
  • 2001 Laboriel Mathieson
  • 2005 Live in Switzerland

with Koinonia (band)[edit]

  • 1983 More Than a Feelin'
  • 1984 Celebration
  • 1986 Frontline
  • 1989 Koinonia

As sideman[edit]

with Justo Almario

  • 1987 Plumbline (Meadowlark/Sparrow)
  • 1995 Count Me In

with George Benson

with George Cables

with Larry Carlton

with Andraé Crouch

  • 1979 I'll Be Thinking Of You (Light Records)
  • 1981 Don't Give Up (Warner Bros.)
  • 1994 Mercy (Qwest)
  • 2006 Mighty Wind

with Phil Driscoll

  • 1987 Make Us One (Compose)
  • 1992 The Picture Changes (Mighty Horn)
  • 1994 Selah I
  • 1996 Selah II
  • 1997 Live with Friends
  • 1997 Live Praise and Worship
  • 1999 The Quiet (Mighty Horn)
  • 2000 Plugged In (Mighty Horn)

with Michael Giacchino

with Dave Grusin

with Al Jarreau

with Ron Kenoly

  • 1991 Jesus Is Alive (Integrity)
  • 1992 Lift Him Up (Integrity)
  • 1994 God Is Able (Integrity)
  • 1995 Sing Out With One Voice (Integrity)
  • 1996 Welcome Home (Integrity)
  • 1998 Majesty (Integrity)
  • 1999 We Offer Praises (Integrity)

with Henry Mancini

  • 1975 Symphonic Soul (RCA)
  • 1976 The Cop Show Themes (RCA)

with Don Moen

  • 1990 Eternal God (Integrity)
  • 1992 Worship with Don Moen (Integrity)
  • 1994 Trust in the Lord (Integrity)
  • 1995 Rivers of Joy (Integrity)
  • 1997 Let Your Glory Fall (Integrity)
  • 1998 God Is Good (Integrity)
  • 2000 The Mercy Seat (Integrity)
  • 2000 Heal Our Land (Integrity)

with Al Jarreau and George Benson

with Lee Ritenour

  • 1978 The Captain's Journey (Elektra)
  • 1979 Feel the Night (Elektra)
  • 1981 RIT (Elektra/Asylum)
  • 1986 Earth Run (GRP Records)

with others


  1. ^ Peter Meyer says (December 27, 2010). "Video Interview: Abe Laboriel Sr". Bassfrontiersmag.com. Archived from the original on November 14, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "Open Hands - About the Band". Openhandsmusic.net. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "Spectrasonics Artisans - Abraham Laboriel". Spectrasonics.net. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  4. ^ "Johnny Laboriel dies at 71; Mexican rock 'n' roll star". Los Angeles Times. September 19, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  5. ^ Cunin, Elisabeth (January 1, 2014). Administrer les étrangers au Mexique: Migrations afrobéliziennes dans le Quintana Roo (1902-1940). KARTHALA Editions. p. 52. ISBN 9782811111946 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Abraham Laboriel: The jazz bass maestro - Abraham Laboriel". crossrhythms.co.uk. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  7. ^ a b The tide was always high : the music of Latin America in Los Angeles. Josh Kun, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Oakland, California. 2017. ISBN 978-0-520-96753-3. OCLC 975176545.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Abraham Laboriel Sr". Spectrasonics. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  9. ^ "Bass Notes: Studio Legend Recognized With Honorary Degree". Bass Player. November 2005. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008.
  10. ^ "The 100 Greatest Bass Players". Bass Player. NewBay Media. September 15, 2023.

External links[edit]