Various Artists, The Generosity Water Project [GenerosityWater.org]

Inspired to help end the worldwide clean water crisis by The Generosity Water Project, two L.A. session aces—keyboardist Jeff Babko and bassist Dan Lutz—compiled and co-produced this collection of reinvented, water-focused covers, with net profits going to build wells for the 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack clean drinking water.
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Inspired to help end the worldwide clean water crisis by The Generosity Water Project, two L.A. session aces—keyboardist Jeff Babko and bassist Dan Lutz—compiled and co-produced this collection of reinvented, water-focused covers, with net profits going to build wells for the 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack clean drinking water. Lutz himself takes the bass chair for six tunes, driving Latinflavored pop (with Sheila E. on percussion) on electric and a haunting version of Peter Gabriel’s “Washing of the Water” on upright with equal aplomb. Other bassists representing L.A.’s A-list session scene include Nathan East, who brings a tight funk to Sting’s “Love Is the Seventh Wave” and a gospel/fusion goodness to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”; and Abe Laboriel (with son Abe Jr. on drums), who cranks up Antonio Carlos Jobim’s funkified bossa “Agua de Beber” to the boiling point … and then helps the band throw the pot right off the stove on a searing version of Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross”—with Steve Lukather on lead guitar and vocals! Changing the world isn’t a prerequisite to enjoying all this killer music, but it’s nice knowing your purchase is doing it anyway.

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Bootsy Collins (Lifetime Award Recipient)   Alphonso Johnson (Lifetime Award Recipient)   Alex Al - Detroit-native Alex Al has been one of the busiest L.A. session bassists of the new century, tracking with everyone from Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Paul Simon to Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Christina

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

Yellowjackets: New Morning: The Paris Concert (DVD) [Heads Up, 2009]

The Jackets’ time-tested progressive jazz gets a thorough workout in this March 2008 show at the renowned Paris venue New Morning, and the resulting document captures the intimate feeling of a small club show, but with the benefit of top-notch audio and video production quality. It’s cliché to say, “It feels like you’re really there,” but in this case it’s thankfully apropos. The special treats for Jimmy Haslip fans include syncopated rhythms on “Capetown” and “Cross Current” executed with such confidence and skill that they land with the impact of miniature kick drums, his fiendish swing walking on “Bop Boy,” his deeply soulful solo in “Even Song,” and a bonus feature consisting of a seven-minute interview/history lesson about the band with Haslip himself. For anyone who’s heard about Jimmy Haslip’s playing with the Yellowjackets a million times and never actually seen it live, it’s really worth checking out what makes him—and them— so special.

Bass Player to co-sponsor RM64 Artist Record project

 Bass Player, EQ, Guitar Player, and Keyboard magazines are sponsoring the RM64 Artists Record project — a ground-breaking program that provides seven musicians with the gear (the goodies include KRK Rockit monitors, Line 6 Pods, Novation MIDI controllers, Rode microphones, and Propellerhead Reason and Record software packages) and the platform to build audiences, seduce record-label interest, and achieve their musical dreams.

Derek Frank, Let The Games Begin [www.dfrank.net]

The trendsters say the ’80s are hot right now, but Los Angeles sideman vet Derek Frank is having none of that on his supergroovy debut album Let The Games Begin. Right from the bass-anddrums- only downbeat of disc opener “Breakout,” it’s an unapologetic, bassdrenched homage to everything cool about rhythm sections from the ’70s, and Frank’s ’63 Fender P-Bass (strung with flats, of course) is the star of the show, in front of the mix and carving fiercely. Games isn’t stuck in that era’s rut, either; there’s just enough modernity sprinkled about to avoid easy caricature, and today’s thumb stylists will appreciate the Marcus-influenced slapmelody approach to the Hall & Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).” But make no mistake—this is mostly a smorgasbord of vintage keys, unison horn lines, and filter-soaked funky bass that’s designed to make the booty move while the disco ball spins. Somewhere, the Brand New Heavi