251

Aaron Germain: Before You Go

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Aaron Germain: Before You Go
The key to the eclecticism of Before You Go, bassist Aaron Germain's first album as leader, can be found in his stated aim as a musician: to be "picky about quality, not genre." Germain's ten original tunes take in straightforward hard bop, blues, Latin and funk styles—and the quality is always high.

Throughout the album, Germain's compositions take center stage. While the quality of his playing is obvious, Germain never uses the tunes simply to demonstrate his talent—neither does he push his own instrument too far to the front of the mix. The result is a beautifully balanced recording that gives all the musicians space to play.

Germain's core trio—Matt Clark on piano, Bryan Bowman on drums and Sheldon Brown on tenor sax—work perfectly with the bassist to create some excellent performances. Opening tune "Higashi Nakano" offers a prime example, with Germain and Bowman underpinning a delicate piano line from Clark before Brown enters with a smoky and sultry tenor. Germain adds a selection of guest musicians elsewhere, each one ensuring that their involvement adds to the atmosphere and authenticity of the tune. The finest example of this open approach is "Bellabou Baiao," a joyous tune driven by Germain's bass guitar and the dual accordions of Adrian Jost and Colin Hogan. Reminiscent of Hermeto Pascoal in its insistent, atmospheric and upbeat melody, its impact is immediate.

On the funky "Deep Breath" Germain again moves over to electric bass while Clark trades his piano for electric keyboards. Initially the musicians' virtuosity is to the fore, but there is a slight lack of warmth in the sound compared to their acoustic playing. Before long John Gove and Derek Smith enter on trombone and vibes. As a result, the warmth returns in spades, the guest musicians building up a solid groove over Bowman's driving percussion.

Germain is a busy and experienced "hired-gun." Before You Go demonstrates his ability as a writer and bandleader and clearly sets out his potential—it's a lovely album, imbued with talent, imagination and humanity.

Track Listing

Higashi Nakano; Deep Breath; Culebra; Admiral Drive; Lakefood; Bellabou Baiao; Amaenbou; Wrong Way Blues; Missed Your Meaning; Quiet Sunrise.

Personnel

Aaron Germain: bass; Matt Clark: keyboards; Bryan Bowman: drums; Jeff Marrs: drums; Phil Thompson: drums; Sheldon Brown: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Ricardo Peixoto: guitar; Matt Heulitt: guitar; John Gove: trombone; Derek Smith: vibraphone; Brian Rice: percussion; Adrian Jost: accordion; Colin Hogan: accordion.

Album information

Title: Before You Go | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Brazil
Brazil
Mike Barone Big Band
Read Liga Latina
Liga Latina
Liga Latina
Read The Call Within
The Call Within
Tigran Hamasyan
Read Light In The World
Light In The World
Nocturnal Four
Read A Time And A Place
A Time And A Place
Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.