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.

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.


CD Review: Adam Nitti "Not of This World"

The Nashville-based Adam Nitti, one of the first bassists to embrace the web, remains ahead of the curve on his fifth solo outing, reviving contempo fusion with strong writing, pocket-first grooves (with the help of stickmen Keith Carlock, Sonny Emory, Kirk Covington, and Derico Watson), and stratospheric solos on his new Ibanez signature 6-string.

CD Review: Chick Corea "The Vigil"

Inspired to write for his hand-picked, potent new sextet (saxophonist Tim Garland, drummer Marcus Gilmore, guitarist Charles Altura, and Hadrien Feraud, who splits time between his Smith 5 and his Godin fretless 5 ABG), Corea delivers a choice array of contemporary jazz compositions shaded to various styles, with ample room for each member to interpret and stretch.

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: Andy Galore "Out and About"

Well-respected New York sideman Andy Galore (Al DiMeola, Buddy Miles) steps up with a superior solo debut rife with penetrating grooves, focused writing, astute covers, and premium performances from such big-city peers as Mike Stern, Oz Noy, Jim Beard, Jason Linder, Gregory Hutchinson, and Bob Franceschini.

CD Review: Tony Grey "Elevation"

For his fourth solo outing, Tony Grey—whose mastery of the 6-string ranges from effortless neck-scaling solo flights to panoramic collages of chordal melodies, loops, and effects—shares the spotlight with seven 6-stringers of another kind: guitarists John McLaughlin, Mike Stern, David Fiuzynski, Reb Beach, Nir Felder, Fabrizio Sotti, and Tomayasu Hotei (aided by the supple stickwork of David Throckmorton on all but one track).