CD Review: Stuart Hamm "The Book of Lies"

The inimitable Stu Hamm stretches in several new writing and groove directions on his ambitious seventh solo effort.
By Chris Jisi ,

The inimitable Stu Hamm stretches in several new writing and groove directions on his ambitious seventh solo effort. Four ensemble tracks (boasting such Hamm East Bay buddies as guitarist Carl Verheyen and drummers Chester Thompson, John Mader, and Jason Harrison Smith) surround a seven-part “Petite Suite for Solo Bass,” which will be released in book and video form. The band cuts includes a chill version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and the keyboard-greased “Practicality” (both in 12/8), the horn-enhanced South African tribute “Back to Shabalalla,” and, most notably, the swung-funk, jam band-ish title track. On the suite side, ��Open Note Aria” moves from arpeggio beginnings to melodic heights, with a similar path of memorable thematic development taken on the chordal side via “Chordally Yours.” Flamenco, tango, harmonics, slapping, and the blues round out the movement styles, adding much-needed literature to the solo bass guitar canon.