Detroit bassist/composer Patrick Prouty is one of the more dynamic musical voices to emerge out of the Motor City in recent years. Having recently completed a lengthy tenure as a member of soul legend Bettye Lavette's road band, the in-demand bassist has decided to focus on a more personalized musical vision. The Charmed Life, Prouty's debut as a leader, is a muscular, straight-ahead release featuring pianist Phil Kelly, vibraphonist Rob Pipho and drummer Bill Higgins, Jr.
Prouty takes an unremitting approach to the bass. Whether walking, soloing or playing a melody, the bassist pours heart and soul into every note. While one can hear traces of Ray Brown ("Higgins' Theme ), Scott LaFaro ("Waltzing with Jenny ) and Charlie Haden ("Remembering Section 403 ), Prouty demonstrates a voice on the bass that is entirely unique and void of direct imitation.
Prouty's band mates, all veterans of the Detroit jazz scene, create a flow of swinging consistency through intuitive listening and imaginative soloing. Kelly is a lyrical pianist who patiently elevates the intensity of each tune. He lends exquisite charm to the title track and the cascading "Champs-Elysees 1951. Pipho demonstrates a modern, forward-looking approach with a firm understanding of tradition. The vibraphonist is featured prominently on the free-form "Rhythm Section and the ultra-greasy "Lowell Fulsom Prison Blues. Higgins propels the session tirelessly, prodding and poking to entice inspired results from each soloist. His dizzying drum romp on "South-West is a disc highlight.
Through inspired performances and Prouty's well crafted compositions, The Charmed Life succeeds as an endearing introduction to a musician of unwavering conviction.
Remembering Section 403; South-West; Higgins
Patrick Prouty: double-bass; Bill Higgins, Jr.: drums; Phil Kelly: piano; Rob Pipho: vibraphone.
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