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 “Perpetual Groove Machine” leave no doubt why he’s got this killer gig.
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