140

Stuart Hamm: Outbound

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Stuart Hamm: Outbound From the opening moments of this unbelievable disc, it’s clear that Stuart Hamm is not your average electric bassist. His technique rivals Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke for originality, and he strikes a good balance of tastefulness and adventure that both of those icons tended to lack.

Hamm gained fame in his supporting roles behind guitar gods Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, but his solo albums prove that he is more than a second banana. He immediately flaunts his formidable chops on the title track, which could be the fearsome offspring of a Bach etude and a Hollywood chase scene. A full album of such histrionics would get boring as hell, but Hamm is sharp enough to stir the pot frequently. Outbound contains dark urban grooves, tender moments, and a downright charming rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner that thankfully steers clear of Hendrix territory. He nods to Jaco with harmonics and a charming fretless melody on the closing track, but that’s as close as Hamm comes to dwelling on the past of fusion bass.

The occasional supporting musicians are all capable, and drummer Steve Smith is particularly noteworthy, but this is clearly Hamm’s show. You gotta love a guy who gives names to all of his basses, and overdubs up to four of them at a time. Outbound is hardly the auditory masturbation one might expect, though. He unexpectedly placed the production tasks in the hands of Youth Engine, two young San Francisco techno/dance producers who have added a bright new dimension to Hamm’s impressive musical resumé. They are responsible for the drum machines and synthesizer walls that alternately support, drive and tease Hamm throughout the set. His horizons were certainly broadened by the experience; his listeners’ will be as well.


Track Listing: Outbound;

Personnel: Stuart Hamm, basses, keyboards; Youth Engine (Chris Collins and Greg Forsberg),

Title: Outbound | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Favored Nations


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Rags And Roots" CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Mogoya" CD/LP/Track Review Mogoya
by James Nadal
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Manhattan EP" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Acoustically Speaking" CD/LP/Track Review Acoustically Speaking
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Swong" CD/LP/Track Review Swong
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.