Hiram Bullock

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Hiram Bullock
Hiram Bullock.jpg
Bullock in 2006
Background information
Birth name Hiram Law Bullock
Born (1955-09-11)September 11, 1955
Osaka, Japan
Died July 25, 2008(2008-07-25) (aged 52)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts Jaco Pastorius, David Sanborn, Will Lee
Website www.hirambullock.com

Hiram Law Bullock (September 11, 1955 – July 25, 2008) was an American jazz funk and jazz fusion guitarist.


Bullock was born in Osaka, Japan to African American parents serving in the U.S. Military. At the age of two he returned to Baltimore, Maryland with his parents, and quickly showed a prodigious musical talent. He studied piano at the city's Peabody Conservatory of Music, giving his first public performance aged just six. After spells playing the saxophone and bass, he took up the electric guitar at sixteen.[1]

Bullock attended McDonogh School for Boys in Reisterstown, MD. He was Captain of the band in middle school. He studied at the University of Miami music college, meeting guitarists Pat Metheny and Steve Morse, and bass-players Jaco Pastorius and Will Lee (bassist). He paid his way at university by playing nightclub gigs in Florida, before moving to New York. He became best known for his playing with Lee on Late Night with David Letterman and work with David Sanborn and Bob James. His work can be heard on Steely Dan's Gaucho (1980), Paul Simon's One Trick Pony (1980), Sting's ...Nothing Like the Sun (1987) (solo on the cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing") and Billy Joel's The Stranger (1977). He also did work for Harry Belafonte, Marcus Miller, Carla Bley, Miles Davis, Ruben Rada (on the album Montevideo) and Gil Evans.

He recorded as a member of the 24th Street Band, which released three albums: 24th Street Band (1979), Share Your Dreams (1980) and Bokutachi (1981).

In 1982, he released his debut album, called First Class Vagabond, which was exclusively distributed for the Japanese music market by the JVC-Victor Company, and later reissued on CD. Also in 1982, he was an original member of The World's Most Dangerous Band, the house band on the NBC-TV program Late Night with David Letterman. He stayed with Letterman's show for about two years.

In 1986, Bullock released his first album as a leader for Atlantic Records called From All Sides, followed by the albums Give It What You Got in 1987, and Way Kool in 1990.

Shortly after the Atlantic albums, he recorded a few tracks from those specific sessions for a live event at the NYC-located Indigo Blues Venue, in order to eventually release it on laserdisc and CD for the commercial market in Japan. His live band from the Indigo Blues-sessions included: Dave Delhomme (keyboards), Steve Logan (bass guitar), and Steven Wolf (drums). The setlist of the Indigo Blues-performance:

  1. Introduction
  2. Gotta Get Your Jollys
  3. What About Me
  4. Angelina
  5. Another Night
  6. Cactus
  7. Never Give Up
  8. Wolfman
  9. Show Me
  10. Them Changes + Funky Broadway / (total time: 60 minutes)

On May 27, 2004, he teamed up with drummer Billy Cobham for a performance of the works of Jimi Hendrix at the University of Cologne in Germany. A CD of this performance was released posthumously in 2008.

He had his own signature model guitars made by Cort, the HBS & HBS-II, which has a humbucker/single coil/humbucker pick-up arrangement and a maple neck. It also has Sperzel tuners and comes in a tobacco burst finish, natural ash and black.

Bullock died of cancer in New York City at the age of 52.[2]


  • 1982: First Class Vagabond (JVC Victor)
  • 1986: From All Sides (Atlantic)
  • 1987: Give It What U Got (Atlantic)
  • 1992: Way Kool (Atlantic)
  • 1994: World of Collision (Big World)
  • 1996: Manny's Car Wash (Big World)
  • 1997: Carrasco (Fantasy)
  • 1997: Late Night Talk (Venus)
  • 2000: Guitar Man (JVC Victor)
  • 2001: Color Me (Via)
  • 2002: Best of Hiram Bullock (WEA)
  • 2003: Try Livin' It (EFA Records)
  • 2004: Jam Jam (3D)
  • 2005: Too Funky 2 Ignore (BHM Productions)
  • 2008: Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix (BHM Productions)

As sideman[edit]

With Carla Bley

With Gil Evans

With Art Farmer

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Chaka Khan

With Rubén Rada

  • Montevideo (Big World Music, 1996)
  • Montevideo Dos (Big World Music, 1999)

With David Sanborn

With John Scofield

With Steps Ahead

  • Magnetic (Elektra/Asylum, 1986)

With Jeremy Steig

With Steve Swallow

With Various Artists

With Sting


External links[edit]