Musicality made of monster chops was the story when Bass Player presented the Kai Eckhardt Band along with Ariane Cap and Paul Hanson’s Oon duo at the gorgeous Empress Theatre in Vallejo, California.
Oon simply made lovely instrumental music out of technically advanced bass and bassoon playing by Cap and Hanson respectively. They played a balance of originals from their Polaris disc, jazz classics, and pop covers with clever arrangements including U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” Cap incorporated copious tapping on a Marleaux Consat Custom 6-string including overhand tapping on “Prudence,” as well as some daring live looping. Jazz guitarist Mimi Fox’s drop in was a welcome addition.
Kai Eckhardt’s infectious personality shone through his vintage Fender Jazz Bass from the beginning of his band’s set. He demonstrated a rare balance of power and finesse as he effortlessly bounced back and forth between flights of fingerstyle and challenging slap-and-pop segments. Eckhardt brought several tunes from his Zeitgeist CD alive onstage with help from a formidable quartet that featured fellow Garaj Mahal member Sean Rickman on drums. The precision grooves created by Eckhardt and Rickman were amazing to witness. Their hands and fingers were flurries of furious motion that translated into an incredibly natural feeling flow. Seldom have so many strokes come across so smoothly.
Photos by Jimmy Leslie
Arian Cap taps into "Dear Prudence"
Cap keeps an eye out for cues from bassoonist Paul Hanson
Oon in action under the awesome ceiling design at the Empress Theatre
Kai's eyes on cue
Kai flashes a funky smile in a groovy moment
Eckhardt locks in hard with ferocious drummer Sean Rickman