CD Review: Vail Johnson "The Seventh Son" - BassPlayer.com

CD Review: Vail Johnson "The Seventh Son"

Vail Johnson, best known for his six smooth solo albums and his funk forays with Kenny G, flips the script for his seventh solo effort, a journey through classic country and rock covers.
Author:
Publish date:

Vail Johnson, best known for his six smooth solo albums and his funk forays with Kenny G, flips the script for his seventh solo effort, a journey through classic country and rock covers. Johnson handles all bass and drum duties, but it’s his booming, Nashville-ready, baritone/tenor voice that’s in the spotlight, inspiring creative bottom along the way. Johnson’s backbeat slap part under his cover of Stephen Stills’ “Love the One You’re With” is a natural, seamless fit, as is his slap solo on the uptempo two-beat cover of Merle Haggard’s “Honky Tonk Night Time Man.” Expressive fretless guides a relaxed take on “Wichita Lineman” and the best of Johnson’s three originals, “Dream of the Heart.” Most fun is the syncopated, percolating ’60s-style soul bass line that smolders beneath Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”

Related

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: 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).

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.