Posts Tagged ‘ Bass ’

Blair Bryant – Cerulean Blue

Kansas City Missouri born bassist Blair Bryant is associated with professional colleagues like Stanley Clarke, Wayman Tisdale or Marcus Miller. A role that Blair would like to grow into and for which he has all the prerequisites.

Although young in years, Blair can already point to a considerable number of releases. He had his breakthrough in 2015 with the debut album New Colours followed by his first Innervision release Gold in 2016 and his second Cerulean Blue in 2018.

On his new album he performs lead bass, guitar bass, piano, keyboards, drums. He is joined by Darren Rahn, Greg Vail, David Davis, Donald Hayes, Ernest Melton (sax), Najee (flute), Zachary Morrow (drums), Derek Greenwood (guitar), Paula Sanders, Nicole Williamson, Alisa Bryant (vocals), Christian Swan (piano), Blake Aaron (guitar), and Preston Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn).

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Brendan Rothwell – Sentiment

UK born and Calgary based bassist Brendan Rothwell has set a clear signal with his debut album Time On My Hands (2016). Now he returns with his sophomore project Sentiment (2019).

Unlike its predecessor, Brendan produced and recorded his new album on his own. The absence of additional input is outweighed by the advantage of cost savings and full control over his own work.

Bass players in the lead are not uncommon particularly in the smooth jazz genre. Examples include late Wayman Tisdale, Julian Vaughn, Chuck Smith, Peter Muller, Marcus Miller, David Dyson, Garry Grainger, Michael Manson, Brian Bromberg, Gerald Veasley, Nate White, Mark Egan, Nathan East, Slim Man, just to name the more well-known.

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Brendan Rothwell – Sentiment

Brendan Rothwell is an accomplished bassist, composer, and producer. Originally from the UK, Brendan has been based in Calgary, AB, Canada since 2005. This Is the Love, from Brendan’s debut recording Time On My Hands (Independent, 2016), secured him placement on several of the global “Best of 2017” contemporary jazz charts, alongside winning “The People’s Choice” in Calgary’s 2017 YYC Music Awards.

Following the success of his debut recording, Brendan takes a step up with the release of Sentiment (Independent. Global release 02/14/2019). With 11 tracks of bass-focused contemporary jazz, this album displays a unique and genuine identity. On this entirely solo recording, Brendan once again optimizes the tone, scale, feeling and musicality of the bass, bringing it to the foreground as a lead instrument to develop meaning and depth.

Brendan describes the 1986 album from Miles Davis,“Tutu”, featuring the great Marcus Miller, as the trigger and driving force for his decision to play the bass. The art of business and leadership is inextricably linked in all of Brendan’s projects, and he firmly believes in applying a business mindset to the industry of music.

Al Turner – This Is

“The Burner” Al Turner, bass player exceptional, has released after It’s Good To Have Friends (2005), Movin’ (2009), Sunny Days (2011) and Simply Amazing (2015) this year his fifth album This Is. The cover is taken from a photo captured on a concert in Wilmington.

Marlon McClain, Tom Braxton, Ron Otis, Dana Davis, Darryl Wakefield, Calvin Rodgers, Jeff Canady, Monty Q. Pollard, Mark Mitchell, Jordache Grant, Darryl Dixon, Rick Watford, Melvin Jones, Mike Burton, Shedly Abraham, Gino Castillo and Eric Willis are listed in the credits of the new album.

The album goes into position with the affirmative This Is. In a fast race of instruments the dynamic melody crystallizes. The bass also gives the fast beat of the following piece Sunrise. There is an infectious almost captivating funky spirit that inspires the instruments involved.

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Nate White – Up Close

Nate White always wanted to play just the bass. He did it for The Spinners, his own band RAMP, with Roy Ayers, Chuck Loeb, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Dave Koz and many more.

His first album Come Into Knowledge (1977) was followed by That’s The Way It Is (2009) and this year Up Close. White wrote, recorded, arranged, mixed, and performed on all of the tracks, with other writers such as DJ and producer Nick Luscombe out of the UK, and producer Tony Heath A.K.A. Tony Heat. Other musicians include Randy Villars, Paul “PC” Caver, Dave Stewart, Iva Durand, and Eliot Slaughter.

The album starts with Kupenda, which is the Swahili word for love. With this tight and infectious killer groove Nate sets a strong pulse.

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Blair Bryant – Cerulean Blue

Coupled with his love for jazz, Blair Bryant has demonstrated a musical ability that belies his youth, with a specific level of skill, richness and detail in his recordings and compositions. We already knew with his first 2 releases ͞New Colours͟ and ͞Gold͟ that this kid could play numerous instruments (14) extremely well. But after getting his degree in Jazz studies from the Music Conservatory in Missouri and as his experience level has grown, it’s time to start talking about him and his virtuosity for what it is. A genius gift from God. Accomplished musicians like Najee, Darren Rahn, Blake Aaron, Mike Phillips, Bernie Williams, Nick Colionne and others have remarked on his talents and phenomenal ability to play bass. But the true measure of his gift lies in the emotions that he makes you feel when he plays.

For the last 2 projects he has been called by many reviewers as ͞The Next.͟ With the release of ͞Cerulean Blue͟ his third album in as many years, we can proclaim that he is definitely ͞The Now͟ and is infusing jazz music with a new sense of vitality and joy that hasn’t been seen in a long time. Blair says ͞with this project I really wanted to show people what I can do, and my range as a musician and producer. I also wanted to showcase my truest love for the fusion jazz art form.͟

On ͞Cerulean Blue͟ he has stepped up his game, working with some of the best in the business, going deeper into his sound and repertoire which feels more like a momentous journey. Showcasing his skills in Contemporary Jazz, Fusion, Traditional Jazz and R&B, it’s literally a smorgasbord for the jazz lover. Collaborations with Darren Rahn, Najee, Donald Hayes and Blake Aaron and other extremely talented artists are featured on this self-produced project. Blair is putting on a clinic on the lead bass, buttressed by deep hooks and beautifully intricate melodies that should delight music lovers. As usual there are no bad songs on this release, and every guest artist and instrument are perfectly paired with songs to create drama, tension and enough beauty to be compared with any dazzling sunsets, beautiful beaches, evocative pastoral moods or profound jagged emotion.

His most interesting ͞instant’ classic is the title song ͞Cerulean Blue,͟ a bass arranger’s delight, featuring Blair playing 3 basses next to harmonic vocals to create a memorable, arabesque, hauntingly beautiful masterpiece in the technique of strumming, tapping and harmonic overtones. While the jazz world has mostly been encouraging and appreciative of Blair’s instrumentality, the release of this new album demands a deeper analysis and recognition of what we are witnessing: none other than the victorious flight of a musical butterfly, resplendent in all his genre redefining ways.

This album is on sale at CDBaby.

Brian Bromberg – Thicker Than Water

With the top bassist Brian Bromberg you never know exactly in which direction his next work will tend. Whether smooth jazz, rock fusion, Bossa nova or contemporary jazz, one thing is certain in any case: Brian Bromberg stands for outstanding quality. His new album Thicker Than Water (2018) makes it easy to love.

The album features Najee, Everette Harp, Gary Meek, Brandon Fields (tenor sax), George Duke (electric piano), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Paul Jackson Jr. (rhythm guitar), Brian Simpson (keyboards), Marion Meadows (soprano sax), and many more illustrious artists.

The album starts with the provocative title Is That the Best You Can Do? When Brian stretches over the bass strings of his Kiesel B2 4 and B2 5 bass guitars the impression of a virtuoso bass solo album is condensed, but then evaporates due to the strong use of wind instruments performed by Lee Thornburg (trumpet), Doug Webb (saxes) and Nick Lane (trombone). You can be assured Brian engaged the best musicians for the best recordings, no matter the cost answering the initial question with an astounding Yes.

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