193

Lynn Seaton: Solo Flights

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Lynn Seaton: Solo Flights
Perhaps the most demanding medium for the upright bassist is the solo outing. Unlike settings where a drummer helps keep time, or where a pianist helps define harmonic changes, the solo format demands everything from the bassist. In a way, solo recordings have been a proving ground: some of the greatest bass players in history have done their best work alone in the studio (eg. Dave Holland's Emerald Tears, or William Parker's Testimony ).

Lynn Seaton comes from a background rich with group activity: he played in the Woody Herman and Count Basie orchestras, among others. But on Solo Flights he takes the stage alone. Solo Flights resonates with remarkable virtuosity: double stops and singing arco passages alternate with walking bass lines. Seaton embellishes melodies with harmonics, trills, and lilting swing, making an effort to achieve texture even during his most relaxed moments.

The tunes on Solo Flights mostly have a spontaneous ring, free of the crutches of arrangement and repetition. His "Ode to Jimi" presents a seven-note theme from "Kiss the Sky" within shifting rhythmic backdrops, repeated and modulated through blues changes, alternating with improvised phrases. Fresh, indeed—though perhaps a bit disconcerting if you're expecting something more along the straightforward lines of the original. Seaton deserves credit for his meticulous attention to harmony, even during improvised melodic lines.

Solo Flights is a very solid recording, though perhaps a bit dispassionate for this listener's ears. The emotive power of an instrument roughly the scale of the human body can be immense, but Seaton chooses instead to operate within a more controlled, intellectual framework. Various tunes on this disc go up-tempo or downtempo—and Seaton has his finger on the pulse at all times—but rarely does he bring the bass up to a visceral climax. One must instead enjoy Solo Flights as a shifting, evolving work within the emotional midrange.

Track Listing

Improv for Aubrey; Moten Swing; Ode to Jimi; Body and Soul; Rain; Barcelona; Trane's Changes; How High the Moon/Ornithology; First Melody; Honeysuckle Rose; Liltin' with Milton; Yesterdays.

Personnel

Lynn Seaton, solo acoustic bass.

Album information

Title: Solo Flights | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: OmniTone

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Freya
Freya
Tineke Postma
Read Unearth
Unearth
New Hermitage
Read Deep Resonance
Deep Resonance
Ivo Perelman
Read Sun Trance
Sun Trance
Markus Reuter
Read Lies
Lies
Clemens Kuratle Murmullo
Read Prism
Prism
Conference Call
Read Palo Alto
Palo Alto
Thelonious Monk

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.