Freddie Washington, In the Moment

Freddie Washington, In the Moment  www.readyfreddiewashington. com For his long awaited, welldressed debut, the L.A. session legend and Steely Dan bassist reinvents the concept of “quiet storm” with a feel flush instrumental turn that’s much needed in the stagnant smooth
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Freddie Washington, In the Moment
[www.readyfreddiewashington. com]

For his long-awaited, welldressed debut, the L.A. session legend and Steely Dan bassist reinvents the concept of “quiet storm” with a feel-flush instrumental turn that’s much needed in the stagnant smooth jazz realm. The midnight mood is set right from the title track opener as well as the follow-up cover of Barry Mann’s “When You Get Right Down to It”; both feature Freddie’s succinct melody readings and serpentine fills, which unfurl around spatially panned rhythm sections. Washington’s bronze thumb enters for “Easy Ride” and “Freddie’s Groove,” propelling his piccolo-range lead lines with feel-good open-space slaps.

On the ballad side, “I Can Make It Better,” “Let It Go,” and especially “Do You Remember”—with its oozing horns and “Babylon Sister”-like shuffle—afford a closer look at Washington’s approach: Waste-nonotes melodies complete with subtle vibrato and string bends, and groove-retaining short-phrase solos. For the disc-closing “Set It Off,” Freddie pulls out all the sonic stops: a relentless 16th-based ostinato, filtered and overdriven slap-plucked melody, and solo flights. Add in disc-wide appearances by guests like Patrice Rushen, Joe Sample, Ray Parker Jr., Wah-Wah Watson, and Ndugu Chancler—all of whom helped provide the breeze that created the original quiet storm movement—and this pocketperfect outing will make you wonder why we bothered to invent machines at all.


“Ready” Freddie Washington : Getting His Groove On With Steely Dan

CATCHING UP WITH STEELY DAN’S 13-piece juggernaut at New York’s Beacon Theater in August meant getting a chance to see one of the preeminent rhythm sections out on tour this year. Los Angeles session legend “Ready” Freddie Washington, first-call drummer Keith Carlock (who powered sets by Tal Wilkenfeld and Verdine White at Bass Player LIVE! 2008), keyboard savant Jim Beard, and guitarist/ musical director Jon Herington provide punch, precision, and perspective for the Dan’s singular blend of sophisti-pop. Backstage, Freddie discussed his approach to 35 years of grooves by such professionals as Chuck Rainey, Anthony Jackson, Tom Barney, and Dan co-leader Walter Becker.


Jeff Berlin, High Standards [M.A.J. Records]

With his first disc of all covers and the fourth with his versatile trio (featuring drummer Danny Gottleib and pianist/upright bassist Richard Drexler), Jeff Berlin’s turn toward straightahead jazz comes full swing (no pun) and full force.

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.


The VW Brothers, Muziek

The Amsterdam born Van Wageningen brothers have been tearing it up as sidemen since the ’80s—Paul as an L.A. drummer, and bassist Marc as a Bay Area badass with everyone from Sheila E. to Tower of Power. Their long anticipated