MARK EGAN & ARJUN BRUGGERMAN
The exotic sounds of Mark Egan’s signature singing fretless basses, Arjun Bruggerman’s tabla and percussion, and the guitars of ex-Neville Brother Shane Theriot make for a heady mix on Egan’s latest, Eastern-spiced ambient album. “Village Call” provides a Lydian liftoff, with Egan’s improvised 16th-note melodies surging over a stream of percussion and acoustic guitar. Conversely, the title track is awash in waves of fretless, while the sustained basses on “The In Between” summon a church organ. Elsewhere, the pulsating “Joy Ride” spins memorable themes, and the drone-and-tone showcase “Morning Light” reminds us that Egan, like Jaco, is a master of 5ths on fretless.
HARMONY OF DIFFERENCE
As the title suggests, Kamasi Washington’s latest effort explores the many facets of harmony, but that doesn’t mean rhythm isn’t a focal point of the six-song EP. The jazz-rooted bass grooves of Washington’s West Coast Get Down brothers Miles Mosley and Thundercat swing hard alongside drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., especially on the soulful, 13-minute “Truth,” which finds both bassists traversing peaks and valleys to help deliver a deeply spiritual experience.
Summer sounds, beach ballads, and laid-back vibes are the theme of Weezer’s latest lighthearted pop album. Scott Shriner kicks the surf party up a notch with his funky playing on “Beach Boys,” “Get Right,” and “Feels Like Summer,” which each contain hooks that are impossible to forget. The happy, catchy album is a win-win for both Weezer and Shriner, who holds it down and stays interesting from front to back.
TURN UP THE QUIET
As far as modern singer–songwriters go, Diana Krall is a giant in the jazz world, so it’s only fitting that colossal bass talent accompanies her in the studio. Her latest features a trio of heavyweights—Christian McBride, Tony Garnier, and regular Krall bassist John Clayton—so it’s no surprise that the album overflows with tasteful lines, each player adding his own touches to 13 jazz classics with the greatest of mastery.
After collaborating on the prog-rock project Ardityon, 7-string bassist Jeff Hughell (Six Feet Under) and Alberto Rigoni (Vivaldi Metal Project) decided to expand their bass fellowship by 11 more players to create Bassists Alliance. Their debut, Crush, features Adam Nitti, Michael Manring, Tony Grey, Scott Reeder, Brandino, Steve DiGiorgio, Mark Michell, Ryan Martinie, Colin Edwin, Dmitry Lisenko, and Leonid Maksimov, who provide enough low end and prog riffs for several albums.