Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

123

The Neo Bass Ensemble: Bebop Meets Bass

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Bebop Meets Bass | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Random Acts of Order" CD/LP/Track Review Random Acts of Order
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Voices in the Void" CD/LP/Track Review Voices in the Void
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Fractured Pop" CD/LP/Track Review Fractured Pop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Burnt Hibiscus" CD/LP/Track Review Burnt Hibiscus
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Edit Peptide" CD/LP/Track Review Edit Peptide
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "The Best of Big Star" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Big Star
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor