Mister Barrington: II [misterbarrington.com]

With just their second release, Mister Barrington (keyboardist/ vocalist Oli Rockberger, drummer Zach Danziger, and bassist Owen Biddle) has pulled ahead of the pack when it comes to the myriad musicians merging man and machine.
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With just their second release, Mister Barrington (keyboardist/ vocalist Oli Rockberger, drummer Zach Danziger, and bassist Owen Biddle) has pulled ahead of the pack when it comes to the myriad musicians merging man and machine. That’s because each member is a first-call player fluent in improvisation and feel across numerous styles, each has a producer’s ear for sonics and song construction, and all three have the gift for musically melding the human and the electronic pulse.

The disc opening quasi-shuffle, “Only a Fool,” in which Biddle’s bass is seamlessly composited with synth bass; the new jack-nodding “See Your Face” (with Biddle stomping his Electro-Harmonix Bass Micro Synth pedal); and the old school “I Remember You” all summon Barrington’s signature song sound: Rockberger’s vocoder vocals delivering knockout hooks over the bionic brilliance below. Similarly, on the instrumental side, transcending throwback is the magic formula, as with the slap bass-led “PRG” (a play on the ’80s contempo jazz label, GRP) and “Frank’s Drebin,” which recalls early-’70s Billy Cobham, thanks to Danziger’s dazzling drum work. The experimentalism reaches an extreme on “Helter’s Kelter,” where Biddle’s ten tracks of bass ideas are pruned to perfectly-panned peak-outs; the oozy “Landing,” with Owen unleashing free-flowing fills in his trademark R&B/Roots style; and the deep, 6-string throb of “Rawzz.” Who knew futurism could groove so hard?


CD Review: Mister Barringto "Can't Turn Back"

Firmly affixed to the leading edge of musician-played, programmed, and spontaneously triggered electronica, Mister Barrington (keyboardist Oli Rockberger, drummer Zach Danziger, and bassist Owen Biddle) further flashes its range on album number three.

Lorenzo Feliciati, Frequent Flyer [Rare Noise]

On his second studio effort, Roman bassist Lorenzo Feliciati once again shows his mastery of sound-mural creation via loops, effects, and such like-minded exploratory musicians as drummer Pat Mastelotto, keyboardist Roy Powell, and horn guests Bob Mintzer and Cuong Vu.

Animation, Asiento [RareNoiseRecords]

Trumpeter Tim Hagans and saxophonist/reissue producer Bob Belden revisit the music of Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew in this live 2006 concert, with the potent backing of Matt Garrison, keyboardist Scott Kinsey, drummer Guy Licata, and DJ Logic.

Review: John Scofield "Uberjam Deux"

Eleven years after his groundbreaking Überjam CD (with Jesse Murphy on bass), guitar force Scofield re-partners with most of the original band—rhythm guitar and sampling ace Avi Bortnick, drummer Adam Dietch, and keyboardist John Medeski—while introducing a new rhythm-section partner (Marcus Miller drummer Louis Cato) for Scofield vet and ex-Gov’t Mule bassist Andy Hess.

Trio In Trepid: John Patitucci Works Without A Chordal Net On Remembrance

WHEN IT COMES TO BASS ROLE MODELS, WE THUMPERS ARE fortunate to have John Patitucci. His firm grasp of jazz and myriad other styles is matched by his equally firm grip on both fretboard and fingerboard. Add inherent creativity and curiosity to the mix, and we’re talking about a forefront musician. This breadth is wholly evident in John’s 13th solo effort, Remembrance. The intimate, 11-track disc is a noble nod to the greats who preceded him via one of the boldest outposts in jazz: the sax-bass-drums (read: piano-less) trio. In truth, the setting—here with sax titan Joe Lovano and drummer Brian Blade—plays right into Patitucci’s penchant for contrapuntal writing and his ongoing quest to establish the 6-string bass guitar in the traditional acoustic jazz realm.

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Tedeschi Trucks Band, Revelator [Sony Masterworks]

Leaning on their best rhythm section to date—Oteil Burbridge and Austin drummer J.J. Johnson—and a horn-infused 11-piece ensemble, Allman Brothers guitar great Derek Trucks and his wife, vocalist supreme Susan Tedeschi have crafted a Grammy-worthy collection of earthy, heartfelt, hook-laden tunes.

Nicki Parrott: Fly Me to the Moon

Coming off a nine-year stint with the late Les Paul, Australian-born Nicki Parrott issues her second solo effort in as many years, using standards to showcase her considerable skills as a bass-playing chanteuse. As compelling as her relaxed, come-hither vocal style is her choice of such offbeat gems as “Charade,” “Waltzing Matilda,” and “Two for the Road.” Down under, her upright is big on tone, swing, and support, with step-outs on the title track, “Evil Gal Blues,” “Them There Eyes,” and a scat-nbass solo on “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.”

NGUYÊN LÊ, Songs of Freedom [ACT Music]

Vietnamese guitarist Lê turns in one of the standout sides of the year with his exotic, intoxicating interpretations of eleven classic pop songs, backed by the formidable core of bassist Linley Marthe, vibist Illya Amar, and drummer Stéphane Galland, plus a host of guest vocalists and percussionists. “Eleanor Rigby” immediately sets the stage with its haunting, intertwined Asiatic themes, funk feel, and jazz reharms.