319

Damian Erskine: So To Speak

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Damian Erskine: So To Speak Bassist Damian Erskine is a master in the art of rhythmic trickery. Erskine, the nephew of famed jazz drummer Peter Erskine, has put together a program of original music that demonstrates his skills as a bassist, composer, and manipulator of time. The material here, whether placed in an odd time signature or simply feeling like it might be, is fusion-leaning music with some Latin underpinnings. The odd-metered workouts, bass virtuosity, and edgy guitar work from Chris Mosley help the music to lean toward fusion, while the percussion work from Rafael Trujillo, along with Mosley's note choices and pianist Ramsey Embick's playing, provide the Latin emphasis.

The fusion/Latin hybridization is best demonstrated on the opener, "Inside Out"—an introduction to the pairing of Erskine's syncopated bass work and Mosley's intense guitar lines. When Embick joins in, and the percussion takes on a more prominent role, the music takes a turn toward the Latin side of things. The odd-metered "FIF" opens with a rock solid groove in fifteen. It eventually evolves, through a rumbling percussion solo, and winds up with a completely different feel in five before returning to the original groove. "Kaluanui" has a smoother, more straight-ahead fusion orientation than the earlier tracks and the album benefits from this contrast.

"American Gyro," featuring some spacey sounds and straightforward delivery, tends to meander and lose focus, but the band quickly rebounds. The music shifts to a post-modern jazz sound on "Light," and this proves to be one of the strongest performances on the album. Reinhardt Melz provides a steady, enthusiastic ride pattern, while a saxophone/piano combination spins out an absorbing melody line. Erskine's solo is one of the track's highlights, and Melz's move to brushes lends the music a different character. Erskine follows this delightful detour with a choppy, syncopated bass line on the engaging "Aslant," which brings the band back to more familiar territory.



Rhythmic mastery and the Erskine name continue to be synonymous with Damian Erskine's smoking performances on So To Speak.


Track Listing: Inside Out; Fif; Kaluanui; American Gyro; Light; Aslant; Cabrerina; Creep.

Personnel: Damian Erskine: bass; Reinhardt Melz: drums; Ramsey Embick: piano; Chris Mosley: guitar; Rafael Trujillo: percussion; John Nastos: tenor saxophone; Jason Dumars: soprano saxophone; Paul Mazzio: trumpet; Derek Rieth: percussion.

Title: So To Speak | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "It's Time" CD/LP/Track Review It's Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Developing Story" CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Of Earth And Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Of Earth And Sky
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 23, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.