Solo Electric Bass 1

Solo Electric Bass 1

By the time Tom Jenkinson made his first all-bass album in 2006, his virtuosity had developed to the point where his technique no longer resembled what pop music fans would recognize as bass playing. The six-string bass brings the songs on Solo Electric Bass 1 much closer to solo guitar music. The album’s great surprise is that, despite Jenkinson’s reputation as a furious modernist, many sounds here resemble old (or even ancient) instruments like the banjo and lute. Pieces like “Seb—1.09” bear the influence of lyrical jazz guitarists like Kenny Burrell, while Jenkinson’s preoccupation with frantic jazz-funk fusion is fully apparent on “Seb—1.02” and “Seb—1.03.” Still, the most interesting pieces are the ones in which he conjures unexpected and ancient sounds from his instrument. In the process of mining his technique and the potential of his six-string bass, Jenkinson uncovers strands of flamenco, indigenous African instrumentation, and lute music of the Renaissance.

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