Many bassists are aware Toto’s Mike Porcaro has been struggling with ALS the past few years. Thanks to keyboardist David Garfield, however, Porcaro’s undersung gift as a glue guy with a huge, intuitive groove is back in the spotlight on this stellar 2-CD set. Taken from a German 2002 tribute concert to Mike’s brother, late drum great Jeff Porcaro, the cross section of songs and stickmen yields some fascinating and fertile results. For starters, there’s Mike locking with Steve Gadd and Greg Bissonette on the supreme shuffle of “Roseanna,” as well as driving the 6/8 pulse of Hendrix’s “Manic Depression”—both with bassist Glenn Hughes on soaring vocals. Add in Robin DiMaggio for “Lowdown” and “Africa,” and Bernard Purdie on “Babylon Sisters”—all with Santana singer Alex Ligertwood. Elsewhere, Mike reimagines “Georgy Porgy” (dig his subtleyswung steady 16ths on the out chorus), and provides harmonically-astute walking on “Straight No Chaser” (with dad Joe on drums). Great music that supports a great cause.
Ned Mann, Finding My Way Home [Interactive Records]
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects an estimated 30,000 Americans, including the late Charles Mingus and Toto bassist Mike Porcaro.