For his forthcoming 2017 full release, Nashville-based bass guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Mike Claiborne presents the 5-song EP 15/16.
The project is witness to Mike’s sure sense of composition, and incredible playing, to an admirable level of halcyon clarity. 15/16 is a completely solo effort that features Mike as bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, and also as producer and programmer (via Easy Keys and Easy Drums). Opening with the effervescent “Summer Song” sounds like the beach that inspired it. Utilizing his Lakland Darryl Jones 5, and Ibanez SR4006E, and his concept of “composite keys”, that presents the bass line in F, while the doubling melody sits in D – which gives the tune a buoyant feeling. Great opener!The second tune is the Fender Jazz Bass fretless, Bossa Nova influenced “Lua Cheia” (Lua Cheia is Portuguese for Harvest Moon). This great tunes features Mike’s lithe fretless playing, and, possibly, the most revealing melody on the project to date.
“Sunday Meeting” opens with a feel reminiscent of Al Green’s “Love And Happiness” and moves through a post-70’s Quincy Jones feels throughout! The highlight of the tune is Mike’s brilliant, and utterly joyous (1969 Fender Jazz Bass) solo beginning at the 2:12 mark!
For “Stellar”, Mike goes for a classic BeBop feel over the melodically stated chords of Miles Davis’ “Solar”. No chords are actually played under the melody throughout the tune, which gives the piece a wonderfully open feel, and allows Mike to present great colors during the blowing section! Great melody too!
The final composition selected for this EP is the moody, Fender Jazz Bass fretless fueled waltz of “Mr. Evans”. This is the only tune on the EP that doesn’t also feature Mike’s guitar playing. This is a great piece of music that listeners will find themselves moving back to as the weather changes for hot and humid to cool and rainy. Also, listen for the great “very live feeling” interplay between the programmed drums, keyboard, and bass beginning at 2:36! Wow!
There is no better set-up for another flawless solo – beginning at the 2:49 mark!
This is a great pre-release, and I cannot wait to hear the forthcoming compositions!
Must Hear Songs: Summer Song, Stellar, Mr. Evans