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David Finck: BASSic Instinct

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David Finck: BASSic Instinct
There's so much variety on BASSic Instinct, bassist David Finck's sixth recording as leader, that it's almost like grooving on half a dozen or more albums for the price of one. Ensembles run the gamut from duo to octet, with vocals added on three of its thirteen engaging numbers. Besides governing the rhythm, composing three of the numbers and arranging all of them, Finck shoulders melodic duties on five tracks and solos effectively throughout. As suits his temperament, every number is straight-ahead, most of them swinging.

Finck duets with pianists Meg Ruby (Johnny Mandel's "Seascape") and Tedd Firth (his own "I Remember," with vocal by Melissa Errico), leads trios with Firth and drummer Eric Halvorson ("The Best Thing for You"), guitarist Bob Mann and drummer Cliff Almond ("I'm Confessin'"), and quartets with Mann, Almond and pianist Quinn Johnson ("Theme from Mannix," "Soon It's Gonna Rain"); Johnson, drummer Clint de Ganon and flutist Laura Conwesser ("Joy"); Ruby, guitarist Nelson Faria and percussionist Kevin Winard ("Tico Tico No Fuba"). In addition to those already named, the larger groups (sextet, octet) include trumpeters Ryan Quigley and Barry Danielian, tenor saxophonist Andy Snitzer, trombonist Mike Davis, pianist Philippe Saisse and drummer Teo Lima.

Finck composed the sunny opener, "BASSic Instinct," to which Snitzer adds his strong mid-range voice after a firm solo by Finck. That leads to one of Irving Berlin's loveliest (and most underrated) themes, "The Best Thing for You," and Jerome Kern's "Dearly Beloved," played here as a lively bossa or samba with resourceful solos by Finck, Snitzer, Johnson and Davis. The "Theme from Mannix" is a pleasant surprise, as is Finck's Brazilian-inspired "Bateu, Levou," which introduces vocalists Teka Penteriche and Trist Curliss (she and he, respectively). The tranquil "Seascape" and "Joy" are sandwiched around the sextet's charming version of "Tea for Two," on which Finck again states the melody and Snitzer adds the last of his impressive solos.

Kelly Mittleman is the vocalist on "So What" (not the familiar Miles Davis tune), which precedes the enchanting ballad "Soon It's Gonna Rain" (Finck on arco) and the playful "Tico Tico," one of the album's several highlights, thanks to dynamic blowing by Ruby, Faria, Winard and Finck. Finck wraps the package with the sultry standard "I'm Confessin'" and his "I Remember," whose lyric, written by Jack Murphy and sung by Errico, perhaps drew its inspiration from another standard, Victor Schertzinger/Johnny Mercer's "I Remember You." An astute, well-designed and expertly performed session with a pleasing snippet or more for almost every listener.

Track Listing

BASSic Instinct; The Best Thing for You [Would Be Me]; Dearly Beloved; Theme from “Mannix”; Bateu, Levou/Who’s Wrong or Right; Seascape; Tea for Two; Joy; So What; Soon It’s Gonna Rain [Theme from “The Fantasticks”]; Tico Tico No Fuba; I’m Confessin’ [That I Love You]; I Remember.

Personnel

Album information

Title: BASSic Instinct | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Burton Avenue Music


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