Bassist Robb Fisher has been a sideman for a diverse number of artists. Born in Los Angeles, Robb ‘s father was a bassist and arranger, who had an enormous record collection. (His dad later became the first person to ever receive a Master’s Degree in jazz at USC.) Robb studied clarinet and alto sax through junior high. In high school, a love of jazz and collecting LPs engulfed him. “I started to sneak into Shelly’s Manhole on Monday nights to listen to the Mike Melvoin trio. I was mesmerized by Leroy Vinnegar’s inspiring, walking bass,” Robb says. “I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” Robb’s dad let him have his bass so he could study classical bass with Al Pollan, a studio musician in Hollywood, while attending the University of Redlands. Robb formed a piano trio with John Prince.
In 1976, Robb joined Cal Tjader’s group, which included percussionist Poncho Sanchez. It was an association that lasted over six years and a key highlight in Robb’s career. “Cal was a mentor to all his sidemen,” say Robb, “and his lyrical ballads and love of Afro Cuban rhythms was impressive.” Robb toured and recorded many albums, including anchoring Cal’s Grammy Award- winning album, La Onda Va Bien and Grammy-nominated album, Gozame Pero Ya. During this period, Robb recorded with such jazz and Latin luminaries as Art Pepper, Carmen McCrae, Clare Fischer, Tania Maria and Anita O’Day.
Robb has continued to play with a wide range of Bay Area jazz musicians, including Akira Tana, Eddie Marshall, Peter Horvath, Vince Lateano, Mark Levine, Matt Clark, Brian Cooke, Susan Muscarella and Rob Schneiderman. In the ‘90s, Robb and guitarist George Cotsirilos formed a quintet. Two of Robb’s tunes can be heard on the Monarch recording entitled The Nighthawks. He is currently playing with the highly respected Mel Martin’s group, Bebop and Beyond. Robb also teaches at the Jazz School in Berkeley and at Lafayette Summer Music Jazz Workshop. He also performs regularly with the pianist Dick Whittington at the Cypress Hotel in Carmel.