Through the years Willis has played with musicians like Wayne Shorter, Allan Holdsworth, Hubert Laws, Simon Phillips, Joe Diorio, Robben Ford, and Pil Upchurch, not to mention Tribal Tech. Bass Player magazine referred to him as one of the most vital bass voices of the 90's. UK's Bassist magazine called Willis one of the finest on the planet.
In sixteen years of co-leading Tribal Tech with guitarist Scott Henderson, the band has produced nine critically acclaimed CD's, (the latest, Rocket Science, was released in 2000) Willis launched his solo career with the September 1996 release of No Sweat, featuring incredible performances by Dennis Chambers on drums, Scott Kinsey on keyboards, and Steve Tavaglione on woodwinds and EWI. For the 1998 follow up Bent, in addition to Chambers, Kinsey and Tavaglione, Willis added the fiery tenor of Bob Berg and long time Tribal Tech cohort/drummer Kirk Covington. Bent lives up to its title and takes the rules of jazz, through dynamic compositions and rhythm-defying improv, and bends reality to fit the talent of easily the most musically monstrous lineup on the scene today. Despite its all-star cast, any listener expecting the self-indulgent chopfest, is instead treated to great musicians playing tastefully, musically and unselfishly.
The Texas native, who currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, studied composition and improvisation as part of the legendary jazz program at North Texas State University