Once thought to be only an acquired taste, solo bass recordings have become acknowledged phyla of creative jazz. From the straight-ahead Life Cycle by Dave Holland to outward sessions by Tatsu Aoki Basser Live, Paul Rogers Listen, and William Parker’s Lifting The Sanctions, modern bassists are continually developing their instrument beyond its historic timekeeping function.
Before moving to New York, bassist Ken Filiano was a mainstay of the West Coast jazz scene, recording with the various ensembles organized by Vinny Golia. He can also be heard on sessions by Rob Blakeslee, The Aardvark Orchestra, Paul Smoker, Dom Minasi, and longtime collaborator Steve Adams of ROVA saxophone quartet. This session is Filiano’s first solo outing and he delivers a coherent multifaceted approach to music making. He balances the accessible with just enough exploration. Mixing emotions from the heavyhearted to the blithe and powers waves of energy against toe tapping harmony.
Filiano opens the session with the lament bowed “Water Down Stone,” then shifts to tapping pulses on “Breathingdreaming” turning in horn sounding notes. He pulls some groove-related music through “Relay” and applies his bow to the wood on “Crucible/Woman” before getting into Bobby Bradford’s melody “Woman” with delicate ringing of hand bells.
Two tracks, “Lucerne” and “Non Sequitur” make use of overdubbed bass passages to great effect. Like Jaco Pastorious did once with his extroverted electric bass, Filiano accomplishes in a more intimate acoustic setting.
This is a special recording.