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Ed Schuller: Ong Song (Music for Acoustic Bass)

Mark F. Turner By

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The rap chant "Give it up for the bass players some!" is appropriately echoed on the final selection on bassist Ed Schller’s solo recording "Ong Song". The funky selection ends with a tribute to all bass players with a Bassist’s roll call, which includes the likes of Charles Mingus, Dave Holland, Charlie Hayden, and Stanley Clarke. Ong Song is a complete solo recording for the acoustic bass which was conceived over four years to express and highlight the instrument in a grand fashion. One might not think that a solo recording which features just the acoustic stringed instrument would be very inventive or entertaining. But the music represented on Ong Song is moving, captivating, and rewarding to anyone who appreciates the stringed instrument’s potential in the hands and fingers of a talented musician.

Schuller who is a more than capable bassist, has performed with Joe Lovano, Paul Motian, and Ran Blake to name a few. On this solo recording he reveals a host of tools from his repertoire which show what the stringed instrument is capable of. The selections are diverse in their choice and delivery. Schuller performs all instruments from a variety of basses to also incorporating electronic looping affects on the cosmic-like piece "Hyperbass". There are melodic pieces such as the beautiful title selection "Ong Song" in which solos are dubbed over the infectious melody. Schuller scats and plays with feeling on the down home selection "Blues on Bass". There are a variety of selections from other artists such as Ornette Coleman’s "Kathleen Gray" and "Ghost" by the late Albert Ayler. Schuller’s bass sound is deep and full-bodied. His solos are powerful and precise. There are a multitude of expressions from fluid bow string solos, subtle harmonic effects, to hand slaps , that all give the recording a richness and vivacity. The bottom line is that Ong Song "Represents" as they say in the Hip-Hop culture. Represents jazz bassists well and shows that the instrument is still alive and well. Give it up for the bassist. Give it up for all bass players. Give it up for Ed Schuller.


Track Listing: 1. Spoken For 2. Ghosts 3. Hyperbass 4. String Theory 5. Ong Song 6. Blues on Bass 7. Bottom of the Mirror 8. Kathline Gray 9. Clave for Collin 10.Slippin' and Slidin' 11.Crepuscule With Nellie 12.Vortex 13.Give It Up

Personnel: Ed Schuller - Acoustic Bass

Title: Ong Song (Music for Acoustic Bass) | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: GM Recordings

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