Derek Frank, Let The Games Begin [www.dfrank.net] - BassPlayer.com

Derek Frank, Let The Games Begin [www.dfrank.net]

The trendsters say the ’80s are hot right now, but Los Angeles sideman vet Derek Frank is having none of that on his supergroovy debut album Let The Games Begin. Right from the bass-anddrums- only downbeat of disc opener “Breakout,” it’s an unapologetic, bassdrenched homage to everything cool about rhythm sections from the ’70s, and Frank’s ’63 Fender P-Bass (strung with flats, of course) is the star of the show, in front of the mix and carving fiercely. Games isn’t stuck in that era’s rut, either; there’s just enough modernity sprinkled about to avoid easy caricature, and today’s thumb stylists will appreciate the Marcus-influenced slapmelody approach to the Hall & Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).” But make no mistake—this is mostly a smorgasbord of vintage keys, unison horn lines, and filter-soaked funky bass that’s designed to make the booty move while the disco ball spins. Somewhere, the Brand New Heavi
Author:
Publish date:

The trendsters say the ’80s are hot right now, but Los Angeles sideman vet Derek Frank is having none of that on his supergroovy debut album Let The Games Begin. Right from the bass-anddrums- only downbeat of disc opener “Breakout,” it’s an unapologetic, bassdrenched homage to everything cool about rhythm sections from the ’70s, and Frank’s ’63 Fender P-Bass (strung with flats, of course) is the star of the show, in front of the mix and carving fiercely. Games isn’t stuck in that era’s rut, either; there’s just enough modernity sprinkled about to avoid easy caricature, and today’s thumb stylists will appreciate the Marcus-influenced slapmelody approach to the Hall & Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).” But make no mistake—this is mostly a smorgasbord of vintage keys, unison horn lines, and filter-soaked funky bass that’s designed to make the booty move while the disco ball spins. Somewhere, the Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai are nodding their heads in approval.

Related

David Pastorius & Local 518 Sense Of Urgency

Imagine if Michael Jordan’s nephew decided to be a basketball player. No pressure, right? Good thing, then, that bassist David Pastorius isn’t even trying to ape you-know-who. The delicious bass tone is a thick, meaty, both-pickupsfull- on, decidedly fretted jazz bass sound with a touch of edge on the high end. When he gets to slapping—and boy, does he ever on the blazing “Groundhog Day”—it’s as if Flea’s hand was landing on Marcus’s bass. His melodic tapping pays clear homage to Stu Hamm on the solo piece “Extra Ecclesam.” Meanwhile, his meat-and-potatoes fingerstyle grooving is superb throughout this widely varied collection of original rock/funk/jazz fusion compositions. As a composer and producer Pastorius is still growing into his ample talents, but ultimately it’s a treat to hear David groove, comp, and solo through these unapologetically sprawling tunes, regardless of his ancestry. That said, though the overall texture couldn’t be more different than, say, anything on Word Of

The Ed Palermo Big Band

The Ed Palermo Big Band Eddy Loves Frank [Cunieform, 2009] It’s been said there are eight million stories in the naked city, and one of them has got to be bassist Paul Adamy, a pro who’s done everything you can do in New York—major network TV (The Cosby Show) and movie sessions, Broadway shows, jazz festivals, A-list jingles, the New York Philharmonic, and a list of credits (starting with Carly Simon) that’ll make your eyes pop. For fun, Adamy’s been playing in the Ed Palermo Big Band, which exclusively does Frank Zappa material re-arranged by Palermo for his outfit. Eddy Loves Frank is a session pro’s dream gig to stretch on, taking on the Frank oeuvre and nailing rock, funk, swing, and all manner of involved form and arrangement. Adamy plays with the smooth grace and steady aplomb of a guy who’s been there, done that, and still having a blast. Zappa fans will love the swinging original arrangements (especially “Echidna’s Arf” and

Yellowjackets: New Morning: The Paris Concert (DVD) [Heads Up, 2009]

The Jackets’ time-tested progressive jazz gets a thorough workout in this March 2008 show at the renowned Paris venue New Morning, and the resulting document captures the intimate feeling of a small club show, but with the benefit of top-notch audio and video production quality. It’s cliché to say, “It feels like you’re really there,” but in this case it’s thankfully apropos. The special treats for Jimmy Haslip fans include syncopated rhythms on “Capetown” and “Cross Current” executed with such confidence and skill that they land with the impact of miniature kick drums, his fiendish swing walking on “Bop Boy,” his deeply soulful solo in “Even Song,” and a bonus feature consisting of a seven-minute interview/history lesson about the band with Haslip himself. For anyone who’s heard about Jimmy Haslip’s playing with the Yellowjackets a million times and never actually seen it live, it’s really worth checking out what makes him—and them— so special.

Too Much Is Never Enough: Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme Reinvents Art-Rock Bass For The 21st Century

A WELL-WORN CLICHÉ ABOUT THE BRITS IS THAT THEY’RE serious, understated, subtle, and—heavens, no—certainly not silly or anything like that. Well, Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme is having none of it, musically or otherwise. “There’s always been this thing with English bands where it’s a bit shoe-gaze-y, you know what I mean? British bands find it hard to just let loose and rock out sometimes. Back in the ’70s, British bands were great; they had a certain over-the-top-ness. It’s almost like bands are scared to do stuff like that now.” Not so for the members of Muse: “We just think, Fuck it, you know?”

Keb’ Mo’: Live & Mo [Yolabelle]

After winning multiple Grammy’s and other accolades, blues-based singer/songwriter Keb’ Mo’ is at the point where you just know his records are going to be good. Live & Mo’ contains both live tracks— with Reggie McBride on bass—and studio recordings featuring seasoned-pro bassists Les King, Kevin McCormick, Andrew Gouche (who throws down some nasty, slow funk on “Government Cheese”), and even Keb’ Mo’ himself. But live cuts are the real ticket here; McBride has been Keb’s right-hand man on bass for over a decade, and he shows why on the old-school deep groove of “More Than One Way Home,” and his understated, songdriving work in “The Action”: He refuses to get in Keb’s way, yet always keeps it interesting and musical. Reggie’s swinging, thumbmuted line in “Shave Yo’ Legs” (now there’s a lyric you don’t want to step on!) and his slow, grinding, greasy shuffle groove in “Perpetu