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Rose City Musician, Brian Eaton, Releases An Unexpected & Eclectic Proggy-Jazz, Bass-Centric Project

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Eaton’s new project is an eclectic expanse of ethereal atmospheres and fields of magnetic, lyrical melodies orbiting a core of contemporary jazz and prog idioms.
—Bass Musician Magazine
Musician/Producer and Allegra Drums Artist Brian Eaton released his third full-length album, The Known Space Project, today on his label, Eatin’ Records, available now on digital platforms. Though a bit of a departure from his usual vocal rock sound, Eaton has returned to his jazz/fusion roots. The new instrumental album consists of nine original compositions showcasing the multi-instrumentalist’s diversity as a multi-genre artist and can be streamed or downloaded from here.

Duane Williams, who’s featured six tracks from the album on his “What’s New” program on WWOZ 90.7 FM, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Station, called it “a fun album.” And the track “Not Where, But When” was the featured Song of the Day at All About Jazz on September 12. Several tracks have also been featured on Bob Osborne’s “Aural Delights” radio and podcast show and on Krzysztof Komorek’s (Jazz Suite founder and jazzpress.pl editor) Donos Kulturalny this month.

The July issue of Bass Musician Magazine announced, “Eaton’s new project is an eclectic expanse of ethereal atmospheres and fields of magnetic, lyrical melodies orbiting a core of contemporary jazz and prog idioms. Listeners will find elements of jazz, prog rock, nu jazz, world, R&B, ambient big spaces, and soundtrack vibes within the record.” And “...features bass guitar as the lead instrument for much of the instrumental album including the proggy, upbeat ‘Four String Theory,’ in which all the tracks for the entire song (including the drum/percussion sounds) were created using bass, making it quite unique.”

Other songs, like “Trans-Neptunian Dust,” blend hypnotic, harmonizing horns with an infectious groove. While the captivating “Alone on Top of Ahuna Mons” and the majestically optimistic “Jovian Empyrean,” revolve around piano and strings with the bass performing lyrical lines.

Eaton not only performs the bass, but the drums, guitars, keyboards and percussion on the record, not to mention his duties behind the desk as producer/engineer. He is also joined by his brother, Bill, who has played with former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, performing lead guitar on “Superheavy Metals of Ceres.” The track features the two brothers trading saturated guitar and keyboard solos over a syncopated, weighty rhythm section.

Regarding the inspiration for The Known Space Project, Eaton commented in Bass Musician Magazine, “I had begun an appreciation for jazz and fusion at a very early age, and I fell in love with Jaco Pastorius’ expressive bass sound the moment I first heard it as a kid in the ‘70s on Pat Metheny’s Bright Size Life. It just seemed natural for me to gravitate to the bass guitar’s potential energy when it came to lead instrument selection for this project.”

Using his ultimate instrument, the studio, Eaton shaped the sound of the album using a Grammy Award-winning engineered recording from a sophisticated jazz-rock band as its reference. And employing techniques from famed mastering engineer Bob Katz to achieve a wide dynamic range, depth, and dimension with minimal use of compression. The result is a recording with excellent transient clarity and dynamics that sounds clear, sharp, and open.

The Portland-based musician began his music career in Chicago studying music theory and jazz piano in college. After college, he opened his recording studio and indie label, Eatin’ Records, producing/recording artists like Frank Catalano, Dave Uhrich, Eaton’s band North (with over 45,000 Pandora radio spins to date), and T.D. Clark (Dee Snider guitarist) who toured with Bad Company and Ted Nugent while promoting his debut Eatin’ release. In 2011, Eaton released his debut solo album, Graphic Nature, featuring a cover of Seal’s “Crazy” which is rated #1 Best Performance over Alanis Morissette’s version on SecondHandSongs. Radio host/DJ Tim Lamping declared, “Brian Eaton proved he could perform any music genre with his debut solo album, Graphic Nature. Brian returns with a futuristic, spacy, rock fusion instrumental record.” And jazz saxophonist/producer Frank Catalano raved, “.The Known Space Project is beautiful music with a lot of vibe that has been taking me on a journey. Exactly what my soul needed. Thanks so much Brian!”

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