Reviewing Current albums.
Dave Brubeck once stated: ‘There’s a way of playing safe, there’s a way of using tricks, and there’s the way I like to play, which is dangerously, where you’re going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven’t created before.’Improvisation is at the heart of jazz, and at no […]
Andy Saxton is a London bassist with formidable chops, a distinctive tone, and fantastic ears. Not literally, obviously (although he may have; I’ve never met him and he tends to wear a hat in photographs so it’s difficult to tell), but his use of melody and top notch arranging skills clearly indicate this. With a […]
As a bass player I must admit, I have secret passion for solo albums consisting entirely of just the bass guitar. No drums, no guitars, just bass. Throw in a vocal track here and there and you just may strike gold. To most the bass is considered a supporting instrument, so it gives me a […]
There are few bassists who are as beloved by the British bass playing community as Norman Watt-Roy. As a member of Ian Dury’s backing band, The Blockheads, his wide-eyed stare graced many a late-1970s ‘Top of the Pops’ appearance as he blasted out his groove-fuelled parts behind Dury’s growling Essex estuary accent. His playing on […]
Sometimes there is nothing like a good blues based rock band to set the mood and keep the party rolling all night long. One such band is Salt Lake City’s Parchman Farm, who bring their flavor of ‘Blues with an Attitude” to their latest release “Revelation”. Featuring the searing guitar work of Nate Lambros, the […]
What do you get when you put four exceptional bass players together in a Studio? ‘Bass Unity’ of course! Comprised of Berklee Professor/bassist Jim Stinnett, Indian funk/solo bassist Sunder Panatella, bassist Grant Stinnett, and the Brazilian Godfather of Funk Bass Celso Pixinga, every note on this album is either a bassist or drummer Thomas Arey. […]
Although little known outside of his native Brazil, saxophonist Sergio Galvao has managed to build an impressive CV over the past thirty years, working with some of the biggest names in South American music. ‘Phantom Fish’ is his debut release as a solo artist and an interesting concoction it is too. Taking the melodic post-hard […]
Headwires, a powerful new three-piece metal band, hailing from Leicester, UK, deliver’s their debut in H.E.P. Recently remastered, H.E.P. showcases 7 punchy songs featuring the scorching guitar work and aggressive vocals of Callum Wimhurst, the breakneck bass work and backing vocals of Laura Fisher, and the pummeling drum antics and backing vocals of Amie Chapman.
Jeff Golub has had a pretty tough time in recent years. In 2011, he tragically lost his eyesight when his optic nerves collapsed. A year later he fell on to the New York subway and was dragged along the tracks in what could easily have been a fatal accident. ‘Lucky’ is most certainly not his […]
Those familiar with Colorado’s resident bass virtuoso Andy Irvine’s previous albums will be surprised by ‘The way I like it’. Gone are the blues rock workouts and funk fuelled slap-athons of previous discs. Instead, this is his most melodic release to date, and – instrumentally – his sparsest. Primarily playing a Warwick 12-string bass, with […]
“El Sentir de los Elementos” is the first solo effort from Mexican bassist Gabriel Flamand. Siting his Mother as his main musical influence, Flamand delivers a mixture of rock, jazz and fusion, infused with a distinctly Latin flavor.
At first glance Flamand seems to start the disk off boldly with a cover of Cliff Burton’s iconic […]
With its femme fatale illustration and accompanying retro lettering, the cover of ‘Slingshot’, the seventh release by the redoubtable Canadian bassist Jason Raso, deceptively suggests that this is either to be an album of 1950s-style, beat combo guitar twanging, or the soundtrack to a long forgotten Hollywood crime thriller. It isn’t either. Instead, it is […]
‘Weird & Wonderful Live: An Evening with Benjamin Boom’
To paraphrase Shakespeare, some people are born to be pop stars, some achieve pop stardom, whilst others have pop stardom thrust upon them. So imagine, if you will, that you are an English pianist/singer-songwriter who composes fabulously catchy pop/rock tunes, but you are based in one of […]
One of the great mysteries of music is how some recordings sound fresh and timeless in spite of having been made many decades back, whilst others are so completely locked into a particular period or point in musical history that, when listening to them today, you can almost guess the month that the studio time […]
Deconstructing popular songs from the rock and pop genres and – to use a current cinematic term – ‘re-imagining’ them within a jazz framework is, whilst not a new concept, one that has become a popular conceit in the past decade or so. The Bad Plus are the best known exponents of this strategy, having […]