All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

3

Rich O'Brien: Hot Potato

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist Rich O'Brien is part of the Bristol music scene-a vibrant and creative group of musicians based in and around this west of England city. O'Brien can be found at the soulful and funky end of the musical spectrum, with his debut album, Hot Potato, mixing jazz, R&B, funk and soul into an enjoyable if undemanding set of original compositions.

O'Brien acknowledges the influence of bassist Marcus Miller and Soulive on his playing and writing. There are also suggestions of The Meters and the Average White Band in his combinations of horns, guitar and electric keyboards. "Hot Potato" is a guitar-led jam band tune, notable for O'Brien's single-note acoustic guitar solo. O'Brien's bass guitar leads on the ballad "Sweet Protection," showing his ability to deliver an eloquent melody on an instrument that rarely gets the chance to grab its place on the front line.

When Jonny Bruce and John Pratt contribute trumpet and saxophone to the mix they add a definite bite. On "Whiskey Fever" and "Definitive," their fluid unison playing sits neatly alongside Joe Price's guitar chords and on top of O'Brien and Brown's fat and funky rhythm. There's some stylish ensemble playing on "Frisky"-not quite as hyperactive a tune as its title suggests-with O'Brien's fat, rounded, bass sound giving the tune real depth. "Bliss" has a hint of vintage Santana in its opening bars, before morphing into a smoother, loungier, vibe courtesy of Bruce and Pratt's soft-toned horns.

The addition of guest violinist Rich Jones to the lineup for "Pastiche" suggests that O'Brien has a willingness to experiment beyond the usual boundaries of jam bands and funk. It's a shame that the tunes fades away with Jones still in full flight. However, Hot Potato demonstrates O'Brien's vision most completely on the soulful "Momentum," featuring vocalist Jack Skuse. The young singer's style is relaxed, confident and engaging, reminiscent of British singers such as Lewis Taylor and Paul Johnson. The collaboration between singer and instrumentalists shows real promise- hopefully there's more to come.

Track Listing: Hot Potato; Definitive; Momentum; Whiskey Fever; Sweet Protection; Pastiche; Bliss; Frisky; Funkyard Jam; The Grunge.

Personnel: Rich O'Brien: bass, guitar; Jonny Bruce: trumpet; John Pratt: saxophone, flute; Sam Mills: keyboards; Joe Price: guitar; Matt Brown: drums; Rich Jones: violin (6); Jack Skuse: vocals (3).

Title: Hot Potato | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Hot Potato

Hot Potato

Self Produced
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Playground CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Playground
by Don Phipps
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Memories of Maynard CD/LP/Track Review
Memories of Maynard
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 20, 2018
Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Slow Learner" CD/LP/Track Review Slow Learner
by John Sharpe
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Unloved" CD/LP/Track Review Unloved
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Lessons And Fairytales" CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Telepathy & Bop" CD/LP/Track Review Telepathy & Bop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Small World" CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017