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

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019
Read A Pride Of Lions Album Reviews
A Pride Of Lions
By John Sharpe
April 21, 2019
Read Sunburst Finish Album Reviews
Sunburst Finish
By Glenn Astarita
April 21, 2019
Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019
Read Transoceanico Album Reviews
Transoceanico
By Patrick Burnette
April 20, 2019
Read Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection Album Reviews
Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 20, 2019