Amazon.com Widgets

Rich O'Brien: Hot Potato (2012)

By Published: | 2,725 views
Rich O'Brien: Hot Potato How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Bassist Rich O'Brien is part of the Bristol music scene-a vibrant and creative group of musicians based in and around this west of England city. O'Brien can be found at the soulful and funky end of the musical spectrum, with his debut album, Hot Potato, mixing jazz, R&B, funk and soul into an enjoyable if undemanding set of original compositions.

O'Brien acknowledges the influence of bassist Marcus Miller
Marcus Miller
Marcus Miller
b.1959
bass, electric
and Soulive
Soulive
Soulive

band/orchestra
on his playing and writing. There are also suggestions of The Meters
The Meters
The Meters

band/orchestra
and the Average White Band in his combinations of horns, guitar and electric keyboards. "Hot Potato" is a guitar-led jam band tune, notable for O'Brien's single-note acoustic guitar solo. O'Brien's bass guitar leads on the ballad "Sweet Protection," showing his ability to deliver an eloquent melody on an instrument that rarely gets the chance to grab its place on the front line.

When Jonny Bruce and John Pratt contribute trumpet and saxophone to the mix they add a definite bite. On "Whiskey Fever" and "Definitive," their fluid unison playing sits neatly alongside Joe Price's guitar chords and on top of O'Brien and Brown's fat and funky rhythm. There's some stylish ensemble playing on "Frisky"-not quite as hyperactive a tune as its title suggests-with O'Brien's fat, rounded, bass sound giving the tune real depth. "Bliss" has a hint of vintage Santana in its opening bars, before morphing into a smoother, loungier, vibe courtesy of Bruce and Pratt's soft-toned horns.

The addition of guest violinist Rich Jones to the lineup for "Pastiche" suggests that O'Brien has a willingness to experiment beyond the usual boundaries of jam bands and funk. It's a shame that the tunes fades away with Jones still in full flight. However, Hot Potato demonstrates O'Brien's vision most completely on the soulful "Momentum," featuring vocalist Jack Skuse. The young singer's style is relaxed, confident and engaging, reminiscent of British singers such as Lewis Taylor and Paul Johnson. The collaboration between singer and instrumentalists shows real promise- hopefully there's more to come.

Track Listing: Hot Potato; Definitive; Momentum; Whiskey Fever; Sweet Protection; Pastiche; Bliss; Frisky; Funkyard Jam; The Grunge.

Personnel: Rich O'Brien: bass, guitar; Jonny Bruce: trumpet; John Pratt: saxophone, flute; Sam Mills: keyboards; Joe Price: guitar; Matt Brown: drums; Rich Jones: violin (6); Jack Skuse: vocals (3).

Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?