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

Talk about a double shot of baddass bass.
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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: Byron Miller "Psycho Bass"

On his latest solo outing, veteran groove great Byron Miller—perhaps best known for his “Reach for It” solo with George Duke [see BP February ’15]—reinvents himself as the Bootsy-esque character Psycho Bass.

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: Paul McCartney "New"

The title of Macca’s potent latest sets up the premise: Present a pile of new songs to four young producers— Paul Epworth (Adele), Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse), Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon), and Giles Martin (son of George)—who can bring a fresh sound and perspective.