Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
193

Lynn Seaton: Solo Flights

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count Views
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.

| Record Label: OmniTone | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Puttin On The Ritz
Puttin On The Ritz
nagel heyer records
2006
buy
Puttin' on the Ritz
Puttin' on the Ritz
nagel heyer records
2005
buy
Solo Flights
Solo Flights
OmniTone
2001
buy
[no cover]
Solo Flights
OmniTone
2000
buy
George Kahn George Kahn
piano
Joel Holmes Joel Holmes
piano
Les DeMerle Les DeMerle
drums
Derek Smith Derek Smith
drums, steel
Andrea Wolper Andrea Wolper
vocalist
Fred Hess Fred Hess
sax, tenor
Barbara Morrison Barbara Morrison
vocalist

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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