All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1,024

Sean O'Bryan Smith: Tapestry

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Listening to Sean O'Bryan Smith is a little like listening to Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Wayman Tisdale—all at the same time. Maybe that's because Smith uses a variety of bass instruments, and weaves them together like a Tapestry.

Smith is a much sought-after musician who has played a variety of genres. Among those who have called on his talents are Anna Wilson, Steve Azar and Billy Ray Cyrus. In 2007, he was musical director of the Hammer and Honques house band for the Fox television program Nashville. He's also led his own jazz bands, opening up for widely known talents including Kermit Ruffins, Fattburger and the late Michael Brecker.

On Tapestry, Smith is supported by a huge cast in ever-changing small ensembles. He plays several instruments, including four and six-string fretted basses, a five-string fretless, and a four-string tenor bass.

"Sweet" begins on a solemn note, played by keyboardist Ken Rarick. After the melancholy monologue, the bass kicks in and energizes the song. Smith uses two fretted basses and also plays rhythm guitar. Alto saxophonist Mitch Reilly contributes, setting up a guitar solo by Steve McRuiz. At times, the song sounds like a Clarke-Duke Project piece, circa 1980.

The cleverly titled "Sprung Chicken" is more of an easygoing, bluesy piece. Tim Gonzalez adds the harmonica. With one bass carrying the rhythm, Smith uses the other as a lead instrument. McRuiz adds to the fun with an engaging electric guitar solo.

"El Corazon" is one of those songs that could be the soundtrack to an action film sequence. Rich Eckhardt joins with several guitars, including nylon string guitar. Saxophonists Karl Wingruber and Tommy Ogle, along with trombonist Scott Kinney, give this piece a dramatic flair.

Smith wrote all nine tracks for Tapestry and, despite the constant rotation of personnel, the album doesn't lack consistency. Though the guitars and other instruments lead here and there, it's Smith's basses that carry the weight. And that's what gives the whole album the feel of something done by Clarke, Miller or Tisdale.

Track Listing: Sweet; Fresh Cup; Sprung Chicken; Tapestry; Rain; El Corazon; Last Call; Vashon; Just Being Me.

Personnel: Sean O

Title: Tapestry | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Groove Therapy Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971" CD/LP/Track Review On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Essential Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Essential Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Far From Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far From Over
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Exosphere" CD/LP/Track Review Exosphere
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Atlantic Bridge" CD/LP/Track Review Atlantic Bridge
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 12, 2017