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),

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

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
Read Mayan Suite
Mayan Suite
Brian Andres
Read When You Find It
When You Find It
Arthur White and Merge
Read Rainbow Baby
Rainbow Baby
Cathlene Pineda
Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane

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.