Janek Gwizdala, The Space in Between [janekgwizdala.com]

The word virtuoso gets thrown around a lot, but Janek Gwizdala is one of those guys who really earns it.

The word virtuoso gets thrown around a lot, but Janek Gwizdala is one of those guys who really earns it. His combination of inhuman chops and human soulfulness leaves him in the rare position to be able to do anything he wants on the instrument … which makes it all the more remarkable how much he holds back and simply grooves on this aptly named disc. Even his sparse, hyperfluid, melodic solo in the jazzy slo-jam opener “To Begin” is misdirection, as he settles in for six more tunes of hypnotic, earth-shaking, slow-to-midtempo grooves with hardly a solo to be found. His line in the R&B/world-beat funk shuffle “Twice” achieves downright Meshell-osity in its slow, smoky goodness, and the title track is just four chords, over and over and over again, a study in serving a simple harmonic structure. The discipline involved is stunning, like driving a Maserati to the store every day and never exceeding the speed limit, not even once. But listen closely and you can hear the horses under the hood, idling and available at an appropriate moment’s notice.


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

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

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BP Recommends: Kyle Eastwood, David Finck, Janek Gwizdala, and More

The seventh album by the Paris-based doubler (and son of film legend Clint) may be called In Transit, but over his last few outings, Eastwood has firmly established his ensemble sound—a contemporary take on Blue Note bands of the early ’60s, or what he calls “lyrical hard bop”—while also conveying poise and growth as a composer and upright bassist.