With the latest EP from bassist, Mike Claiborne, we get another serving of jazz, funk and soul from this multi-talented artist. MC3 was released this past summer, and I’ve been enjoying it so much on drives that, quite frankly, I forgot about reviewing it.
This third release is definitely steeped more in the jazz-funk realm that Claiborne enjoys. The opening track, Axiom, is a solid opener with a great feel and groove. All of the solos are thoughtful and interesting (it’s worth noting that, once again, Claiborne handled nearly all the instrumentation on MC3.
Funky Love, the second track, features Claiborne’s signature K. Butler MC33 bass on the solo. I like the forward pulsing smooth-jazz vibe of this tune. The keyboard sounds on this track (and throughout the album) complement the bass sound perfectly. It’s clear that Claiborne has really spread his artistic wings in the roles of arranger and producer.
The third track, Falmouth, brings reggae into the jazz idiom with a very laid back, relaxing track. It’s a nice “break” from the more upbeat tunes that preceded it. The track that follows, Pearl, brings us back into the jazz-funk, smooth jazz realm. Claiborne’s slap playing on this track reminds me of Marcus Miller; excellent tone, groove and thoughtful phrasing.
Messier 51 is a quick intro into the final track, Zoom, and it sets it up nicely by creating a more ambient atmosphere to inhabit. The last track is great; killer slap bass lines, awesome melodies, excellent keyboard sounds, etc.. All in all, it’s a fitting final track to the EP
MC3 by Mike Claiborne is a great listen. At only 6 tracks, it’s a pretty quick one to get through, but if you’re like me, you’re going to set it on repeat and just drive. MC3 is currently available on CD through MikeClaiborne.com and distributed through CD Baby, with downloads and streaming available through all the major platforms.