CD Review: Michael Manson "Thumpin': The Live Album"

Talk about a double shot of baddass bass.

Talk about a double shot of baddass bass. Michael Manson, best known for his muscular grooves with the late George Duke, moves front and center on this livein- Chicago double-CD, and hires gospel great Maurice Fitzgerald to back him. With presence, phrasing, and flair to match any smooth jazz bassist out there, Manson handles all the melodies, while delivering dramatic solos that build from bluesy bursts to full-on shredding. Surrounded by full rhythm and horn sections as well as backing vocalists, Manson especially shines on “Groove With You,” a cover of Luther Vandross’s “There’s Nothing Better Than Love,” and the opener, “Coming Right at You.” Fitzgerald is rooted and relentless all night, and his driving support work on “Just One Touch” is a watermark in an evening of bass highpoints.


CD: Review: "Ryan Adams"

While we await Tal Wilkenfeld’s singer/songwriter second album, there’s no doubt she has immersed herself in the craft, appearing on upcoming recordings with Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, and Joe Walsh, and here providing the bottom for Ryan Adams’ impressive first effort in three years.

CD Review: Randy Brecker "Randypop!Live"

The trumpet session legend revisits pop hits he played on, re-imagined by the elite Gotham jazz team of keyboardist/arranger Kenny Werner, saxophonist David Sanchez, guitarist Adam Rogers, drummer Nate Smith, and, most noteworthy, John Patitucci in full-on, 4-string groove mode.

CD Review: "Mocean Worker"

Encouraged by Marcus Miller, with whom he has recorded and performed (most recently on “I Can’t Breathe” from Miller’s Afrodeezia), DJ Mocean Worker puts his considerable bass skills front and center for the first time on his latest house/electro-swing effort.

CD Review: "Jeff Sipe Trio"

The veteran Atlanta drummer/bandleader (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jonas Hellborg) fronts his head-turning new Southern fuze unit, with nimble neophytes Taylor Lee on 6-string bass and Mike Seal on guitar.