215

Bob Cunningham: Walking Bass

By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Cunningham: Walking Bass Didja hear? Bobby C's back in town! Actually, bassist Bob Cunningham has always been around, but his first and only album as a leader, Walking Bass , has been released for the first time on CD. Originally recorded in 1985, it features the late, great Bross Townsend on piano and Melvin Sparks (Hassan) on guitar, with Alvin Queen and Bernard Purdie sharing drumming duties.

The title cut opens the disc and is Cunningham's spin on a humorous jazz poem written by Keeter Betts. While Cunningham's amplified singing voice is average, his plucking is authoritative and spry, producing deep, round tones. If "Walking Bass" flirts with rap, Cunningham's arrangement of mentor Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca" goes there headlong. This version of the Afro-Cuban classic, featuring excellent piano playing by Townsend and a blistering arco solo by Cunningham, includes a tongue-in-cheek rap homage to Diz, especially fitting since Gillespie was one of the founding fathers of bebop, a musical genre which, like rap, profoundly changed the landscape of world music and culture.

"Blues for Basie" is a juke joint delight, with Cunningham wailing over sparkling riffs by Townsend and solid drumming by Queen. Cunningham's bow sings like a horn on "Mama's House," and "D'Andrea" finds Cunningham overdubbed on synthesizer and bass, with Townsend contributing an absolutely brilliant solo. "Lover's Theme" features Cunningham wailing on arco like a free jazz saxophonist as Townsend and Queen function as dual timekeepers, and the group gives "A Night In Tunisia" an R&B/funk groove. Whether he's playing originals or covering classics, going pizzicato or bowing like a buzzsaw, Bob Cunningham and his band hit all the right notes. Let's hope that we don't have to wait another 19 years for his next release.

Visit Bob Cunningham on the web.


Personnel: Bob Cunningham: bass; Bross Townsend: piano; Melvin Sparks Hassan on guitar; Alvin Queen and Bernard Purdie: drums.

Title: Walking Bass | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Nilva


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read My Head Is Listening CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Ugly Beauty CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Moanin'" CD/LP/Track Review Moanin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "I Just Did Say Something" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Did Say Something
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Mobiles Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Mobiles Vol. 1
by James Nadal
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "Nocturno" CD/LP/Track Review Nocturno
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!