Connect with us

Bass CDs

New Album: Bassist SeaJun Kwon, Micro-Nap

Published

on

New Album: Bassist SeaJun Kwon, Micro-Nap

Korean-born, New York-based composer / bassist SeaJun Kwon vividly explores moments of change on his breathtaking second album…

A micro-nap is a way to quickly recharge one’s batteries without slipping into a deeper state of slumber. It’s a restful moment somewhere in between waking and sleeping, consciousness and unconsciousness. Korean-born, New York-based composer and bassist SeaJun Kwon delights in such liminal spaces. On Micro-Nap, the second album by his exploratory Walking Cliché Sextet, Kwon and his deeply attuned ensemble navigate constantly changing compositions through a series of elusive, transient moments.

“A micro-nap,” Kwon explains, “is an example of non-linear and broken moments. Usually, these extremely short non-linear moments are dense, noisy, and full of energy… I wanted to expose the liminal space of each micro-ordered moment layered with others, and head towards macro-chaotic surprises. This album reflects my emotional frustrations, non-linearity, the transience of feelings, and the emptiness of noise – as well as my attraction to them.”

The album dropped in October, 2022 via saxophonist Kevin Sun’s Endectomorph Music label, Micro Nap investigates these notions of minuscule changes to reflect the far more monumental transitions that have characterized Kwon’s life and career over the past decade. In a way, it serves as a farewell to his time in Boston, where he moved in 2016 to study at New England Conservatory. The Walking Cliché Sextet is made up of the bassist’s NEC classmates: pianist Erez Dessel, drummer Charles Weller, alto saxophonist Aaron Dutton, tenor saxophonist Jacob Shulman, and trombonist and tuba player Michael Prentky all return from the band’s 2021 debut, Suite Chase Reflex. This time out the piano and drum chairs are shared with Jacob Hiser and Avery Logan respectively, one concrete instance of evolution over time.

The band itself, with its three-horn frontline, is another practical example. Kwon favors the sextet format, he says, because it exists on the boundary between a flexible small group and the intricate arrangements of a big band. “It’s kind of in the middle. In a quartet or a smaller format, we have a lot of freedom and the music can be more abstract. The sextet is still in the small ensemble zone, but it allows for a lot of orchestral options. You might need some arrangements to clean up the sound—or maybe not clean it up, intentionally. It’s fun in that way.”

Kwon is now based in New York City, while his compatriots in the sextet have scattered to various new locales, promising more changes to come either within the sextet or with new projects stemming from Kwon’s new environs. But the bassist’s presence in the States – and on the jazz scene – was a seismic shift that happened fairly rapidly. He first played an upright bass just eight months before enrolling at NEC. Prior to that Kwon had been living in Seoul, South Korea, studying computer science and machine learning and occasionally tinkering with an electric bass, but not actively pursuing a life in music.

That all changed when he took his first acoustic bass lesson, almost on a whim. “I really liked listening to jazz, so I took a lesson. It wasn’t very serious. It became a little serious when I realized that I really liked learning it. I had no formal music education before that. From that point on I had to learn everything very fast. It was like every moment was a moment of change.”

That sensation is captured on “Transient,” the closing track on Micro-Nap and the first piece written for the new album. A professed adherent of avant-grade jazz and contemporary classical composers such as Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, and György Ligeti, Kwon points out that “Transient” may be a more traditional piece than most – it has an almost ballad-like grace as opposed to the pointillist and abstract nature of much of the rest of the album – but there is a steadily accumulating tension that never settles into one place or feeling for too long.

The album is disconcerting from the first, with entrancing piano accompanied by unplaceable stomps and creaking noises on Dessel’s “Muad’Dib.” Prentky contributed the drone-oriented second piece, “Commune,” which explodes halfway through into strident unison horn lines punctuated by machine gun rhythms. The rest of the compositions are the bandleader’s own, from the jagged, angular title track to the chaotic “Anamorphosis No.1,” the meditative “Rumination” to the burly “Trio, Interlude,” no less raucous for the absence of the horn section.

While Kwon is processing a number of very serious ideas through this music, he chose the title Micro-Nap in keeping with the tongue-in-cheek name of the Walking Cliché Sextet. The inspiration for the sobriquet came from the 2002 Spike Jonze film Adaptation., in which Nicolas Cage’s character describes himself with the term during an opening monologue. “He’s ruminating in a loop of clichés,” Kwon describes. “And it was funny—I was emotionally attached to it while also feeling like he’s being too serious about small things when he calls himself a walking cliché. I think ‘walking cliché’ implies both that seriousness and the comedic aspect at the same time.”

Humor and drama, stasis and change, waking and sleep, home and away; Kwon and his music thrive at the juncture of these contradictory states. While he may be constantly on the move, there’s nothing cliché about the music that results.

Visit online at seajunkwonmusic.com

Bass CDs

Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Published

on

Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Amazon.com. Visit Mark online at markegan.com.

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album

Published

on

New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce "Kingdom of Shred" Album

ALBERTO RIGONI’s New Project NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album, Feat. Super Talented Guests Such as Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner + Many Others

Worldwide known Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI (soloist, BAD As, Kim Bingham, Vivaldi Metal Project, etc.) announces the new album “Kingdom of Shred” of his new project NEMESIS CALL. 

Alberto says: 
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, was released on June 4th 2024, I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental shred/prog/rock/metal/melodic album, that will feature many talented top-notch musicians such as drummer Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner, Alexandra Lioness, Aanika Pai (11 years old!), Keiji by Zero (19 years old!), SAKI and many others TBA/TBC). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025 or maybe for Christmas!.”

As an independent artist, Alberto Rigoni has launched a fundraising campaign to support the project. Support at www.albertorigoni.net/nemesiscall. 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro (www.legadelfilodoro.it/it), an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Visit online at www.albertorigoni.net | albertorigoni.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/albertorigonimusic | www.badas.rocks

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

Published

on

New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

Today, Los Lonely Boys announce the release of their first new album in 11 years.

Out August 2nd via BMG, Resurrection marks a return to form for the GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum trio of Texican brothers, who have performed everywhere from the GRAMMYs telecast to the World Series to recent tours with The Who. Lead single “Wish You Would” conjures the group’s classic sound, combining breezy guitar leads with hard-earned doses of wisdom.

“It’s something we think people need to hear—especially the youth,” says bassist/vocalist Jojo Garza, speaking on “Wish You Would” and Resurrection. “When we’re young, we think we have it figured out. When you get older, you start to see things differently. Having kids of our own, we see their ambitions and ideas of what they want to be, so we want to be good parents. The message is, ‘Be careful what you wish for. There could be a false light, and we don’t want you to get hurt’.”

After an extended break from recording, Los Lonely Boys are making a triumphant return with Resurrection. Rejuvenated and more cosmically attuned than ever before, the album rekindles the sonic fire that bonds the Los Lonely Boys brotherhood, while also paying respects to Texas legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Fender, among others. The album was recorded at guitarist/vocalist Henry Garza’s home studio in St. Angelo, TX, and El Paso’s Sonic Ranch (Fiona Apple, Bon Iver, Snarky Puppy etc), and mixed live in Chicago by Chris Gelin at Opus Audio Labs. 

This year Los Lonely Boys will also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their self-titled debut, which reached double-platinum status and yielded the gold-certified, generational smash “Heaven,” which earned them a GRAMMY Award for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and performance on the awards telecast. The brothers’ follow-up Sacred bowed at #2 on the Billboard 200, paving the way for fan favorites ForgivenRockpango, and Revelation. Along the way, Los Lonely Boys collaborated with legends such as Santana, Willie Nelson, and Dr. John. 

Even as they’ve been away from the studio, Los Lonely Boys have continued to tour tirelessly for decades, and this year they’ve hit the road again for an extensive, months-long run across the US. They will also perform on select shows alongside long time friends Los Lobos. Find tickets here. Pre-order Resurrection

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

Published

on

New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies…

ALBERTO RIGONI Springs Surprises on “Unexpected Lullabies” Album, Out Today!

Today, Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI has released his new solo album “Unexpected Lullabies” via Sliptrick Records, containing songs that are half-sweet and half rock-metal. The album is produced and partially composed by Alberto Rigoni and it’s dedicated to Vittoria Parini Rigoni and all newborn babies. 

Alberto shared: “There are no just tragedies in this world, life is going on!”

Album Design and Artwork created by Mark Barrett at elmtreecreative.co.uk

Among the various bass used one belonged to Randy Coven for the recording of Ark – Burn The Sun. Alberto searched it for years since he’s a great fan of Randy (Rest in Peace and Power)!

Tracklist:
01. Vittoria
02. Fly Me To The Moon
03. Azzurra
04. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
05. Out Of Fear
06. Veni Laetitia
07. Nenia
08. Slap Lullaby
09. Saga
10. Vicky
11. Ocean Traveler
12. Strangers In The Night
13. Peaceful
14. Un uomo che voga

Order the album at deadpulse.com/product/alberto-rigoni-unexpected-lullabies/

This album promises to be a collection of auditory wonders, each track a testament to Rigoni’s genius and his ability to transcend musical boundaries. Featuring a symphony of guest musicians alongside Rigoni’s virtuosic bass, Unexpected Lullabies is poised to be a beacon for lovers of music, an invitation to explore the depths of creativity and emotion. What makes ‘Unexpected Lullabies’ even more exciting is the assembly of musical titans. The album features the legendary bassist Michael Manring, the keyboard wizardry of Alessandro Bertoni (of the Graham Bonnet Band) and Vitalij Kuprij (known for Artension and Trans-Siberian Orchestra), and many more yet-to-be-revealed guest artists.

Alberto Rigoni is:
Alberto Rigoni – Bass | Plus various guest musicians

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

Published

on

New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

Continue Reading