Viewpoint takes a slightly different course than most recent releases by the German Nagel Heyer label which have focused on mainstream/traditional jazz. On this album they give Kentucy born and top ranked bassist, John Goldsby, the opportunity to perform on a series of originals and standards, assuming a modern, progressive bent.
This is Goldsby's second album as a leader and first since 1994. He is joined by a group of players who, like him, make Europe their home. Although the bassist is the listed leader of the set, he is first among equals. The lead off tune "Love Paris", with Goldsby's arco bass kicking off, belongs to the muted flugelhorn of John Marshall. A Goldsby original, "Mr. McGregor" features the adroit playing of Hayden Chisholm on alto. Here Goldsby shows his control of his instrument by plucking it as if it were a guitar. Virtuosity reaches its zenith with "The Folks Who Live on the Hill", where he plays A Capella, making him one of the few bass players extant, with Ray Brown, Nils Hennings Orsted Pederson and Charlie Haden, who can command the technical and emotional equipment to pull off this undertaking. The Oscar Pettiford blues inflected "Bohemia after Dark" gives the players a chance to relax and thoroughly enjoy. This is strictly a rhythm section session featuring with Goldsby, Frank Chastenier's piano and the drums of Hans Dekker, there but never intrusive. Of all the fine qualities Goldsby has a bassist, none stands out more than his feel for melody and his ability to translate it on an instrument once relegated solely to laying down a foundation for others. This CD is not only bass playing at its very best, but jazz as well. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: I Love Paris; Cupbearers; Bohemia after Dark; Le Cannet; Mr. McGregor; Brazilian Hat Trick; Sleepy Boys; In the Hills; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Replaceable You; Annie; Warm Valley; Seven for Twelve; The Folks Who Live on the Hill
Personnel: John Goldsby - Bass; Frank Chastenier - Piano; Hans Dekker - Drums; John Marshall - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Olivier Peters - Tenor & Soprano Sax; Hayden Chisholm - Alto Sax