123

The Neo Bass Ensemble: Bebop Meets Bass

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
The Neo Bass Ensemble: Bebop Meets Bass Granted, you wouldn't want a steady diet of a band fronted by five double bassists and a cello, but Lisle Atkinson's Neo Bass Ensemble more than accomplishes its stated goal on Bebop Meets Bass. As the title implies, these tunes are played in the bebop tradition with unique arrangements designed to fit the unorthodox instrumentation. Many of these chestnuts have been played every which way over the years, but Atkinson is able to use the fronting strings, two female vocalists and a rhythm section of piano, drums and, yes, another bass to add new dimensions to the music.

Each cut is approached from a variety of directions, and the wide-ranging vocals of Janet Steele and Marsh Perry Starkes blend into the music in a scat-bop way, deliciously invigorating Miles' "Half Nelson and Dizzy's "Bebop. The former begins things in somewhat traditional fashion, thanks to the core rhythms of drummer Richard Allen, pianist Richard Wyands and one of the half-dozen bassists, while the latter is a free-fall bebop burner that would make Dizzy proud. The lovely Satchmo vocal hit "What a Wonderful World has some of its sugary sweetness extracted through a delightfully dissonant cello courtesy of Elizabeth Kalfayan, plus Steele's operatic vocal. Another Dizzy tune, "Con Alma, is expanded into a suite-like presentation with a disunified bass chorus intro that segues into a string-led swinging fantasy.

Bassist Jay Starke's emotive bowing is a highlight of the Mingus paean to Lester Young, "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. Ellington's classic "Sophisticated Lady is beautifully delivered through Kalfayan's cello. Atkinson's original "CB closes the disc with all paying an aptly swinging homage to the Count. While some of the attraction of Bebop Meets Bass is akin to watching elephants dance, Atkinson and company are inventive and technically adept musicians whose basses can bop with the best.

Visit Lisle Atkinson on the web.


Track Listing: Half Nelson; Peace; Be Bop; What A Wonderful world; Come on baby; But Beautiful; Con Alma; Sophisticated Lady; All Blues; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat; C.B.

Personnel: Lisle Atkinson, Karen Atkinson, Phil Wadkins, Darnell Jay Starkes, Paul Brown, Paul West: bass; Elizabeth Kalfayan: cello; Marsha Perry: vocal; Richard Wyands: piano; Richard Allen: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Bambulaye" CD/LP/Track Review Bambulaye
by James Nadal
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Imaginist" CD/LP/Track Review Imaginist
by Mike Jacobs
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "La Chanson Francaise" CD/LP/Track Review La Chanson Francaise
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "WANDERlust" CD/LP/Track Review WANDERlust
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!