Posts Tagged ‘Erik Scott’

Echoes Top 25 for February: Erik Scott Tops List

March 4, 2009

Other Planets Erik Scott‘s ambient bass album, Other Planets,  tops Echoes Top 25 List for February.  It was our February CD of the Month and if you happened to miss the many times we played it, you can catch up with our review.

The Top 25 this month proves to be a more balanced affair than recent lists. It embodies the avant-garde, old and new with Jon Hassell‘s sensually insinuating The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street.   Then there’s the Codona Trilogy, a 3 CD set of reissues of all three albums by Codona, a pioneering world fusion group with the late-Don Cherry and the late-Collin Walcott along with Nana Vasconcelos.  Nice to hear that again after some 30 years.   It was a good month for ECM records here.  Besides Codona and Jon Hassell, albums of chamber jazz by the Wolfert Brederode Quartet and  Marcin Wasilewski Trio made the list.

Retro space music made itself heard in the form of new music by Robert Schroeder‘s Taste It! I’m not to sure about that album title which smacks of heavy metal album names  like UFO‘s Force It or Spinal Tap’s Smell The Glove, but it’s  vintage space music circa 1979 from a musician who came in at the tail end of that sound.    Ian Boddy’s Slide also slips into the retro mold, but with a modernist’s sensibility.

The Top 25 list is always currently released CDs, but a couple of 2 year old stragglers got in this month.  Ray Montford from Canada just sent A Fragile Balance, his beautiful CD of country-tinged space guitar instrumentals.  It came out in 2007, but it’s too beautiful not to place in current rotation.  And I only just discovered an album of great electric-acoustic guitar duets from Police guitarist Andy Summers and classical guitarist Benjamin VerderyFirst You Build A Cloud is a finely honed CD that pits Verdery’s guitar filligree against Summers’ sustained leads.   This was apparently a stealth release since I could find virtually no reviews of this CD on line.   Verdery only had it sent to us after I mentioned it to him when he swung through with the International Guitar Night tour.   And artists wonder why no one is hearing their music.

Lot’s of other cool things on the list including a return of world fusion.   Rokia Traoré’s Tchamantché is a seductive album of deep Malian soul.  Martine Lund-Hoel brings the Norwegian hardanger fiddle back and Kaya Project’s ethno-ambient music, our January CD of the Month,  is still riding high.

Prayer For Compassion Take a listen to #4 on the list, David Darling’s Prayer for Compassion.  It’s our CD of the Month for March and will be topping this list then.  A deep and powerful album of ambient chamber music from the avatar of that sound.  You can read a review here.

So check out the complete Echoes Top 25 for February.  You’ll find links to most of the discs there.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echo Location: Erik Scott’s Cosmic Bass Guitar

January 27, 2009

From Alice Cooper to Other PlanetsErik Scott takes a cosmic bass trip. erikscott

You can hear an audio version of this blog, with music.

There have been a lot of virtuoso electric bass albums released over the years. Musicians like Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke tried to become gunslinging front men with an instrument that’s usually holding down the bottom end of a groove. But bassist Erik Scott says he never really listened to those musicians.

Erik Scott: I never owned a bass solo album because so many of them were technical displays or sound. Some of them even sounded like exercise videos or something, as opposed to music.

That may explain why his solo debut, Other Planets, is so different from most bass guitar albums. Scott isn’t a frustrated electric guitarist. He dives into the deep soul and nuances of the bass, extracting sensuous melodies and atmospheric moods.

Special Forces The Chicago-based musician has played on numerous sessions for people like Kim Carnes, Tonio K and Ted Nugent. He spent a couple of years playing with Flo and Eddie, who had been lead singers with both The Turtles and Frank Zappa. In the early 1980s he was bassist and composer with Alice Cooper during the shock rocker’s Special Forces period.

Sonia Dada But it was with the Chicago band, Sonia Dada that Scott came into his own. He’s been a member of the group since their first album, which included the hit song, “You Don’t Treat Me No Good.” On the last Sonia Dada album, Test Pattern, Scott slipped in the instrumental track, “Sundogs.” That led to his debut solo album, Other Planets. An expanded version of “Sundogs” reappears there as the title track.

Other Planets is a spacious album with much of that atmosphere coming from pedal steel guitarist John Pirruccello with a cosmic country version of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s sustained guitar leads. And remember, Gilmour played lap steel on Dark Side of the Moon.

The music on Other Planets is a long way from Sonia Dada, let alone Alice Cooper. Just hitting 61, Erik Scott can still rock out, but he’s experiencing a quieter state of existence these days.

Erik Scott: Right now I’m looking out the window and see pine trees, a frozen lake covered in snow. It’s just that kind of expanse I’m just looking at here in the dead of winter and I’m down here in the studio by myself so, it’s not the type of atmosphere that would make me want to break out into “Welcome to the Jungle.”

You can hear Erik Scott’s landscapes on Other Planets. It’s our February CD of the Month and I’ll be featuring it on Monday’s show. This Echo Location will be broacast by WXPN, 88.5 Philadelphia (www.wxpn.org) on Wednesday morning, January 28 about 9:30 AM. You can download the podcast from their site. This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Music.

John Diliberto (((echoes )))


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