Steve Lawson - And Nothing But The Bass: Live At The Troubadour

Friday 1st December 2000
Steve Lawson - And Nothing But The Bass: Live At The Troubadour
Steve Lawson - And Nothing But The Bass: Live At The Troubadour

STYLE: Ambient/Meditational
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Andy Long

"So there's no guitar or drums then?" Sorry, I thought the title would have been a bit of a giveaway. One man, three or four bass guitars and a lot of gad-getry, combined to make one album of beautiful music. There are essentially two sides to Steve's compositions, the "tunes" played over a looped chordal arrangement and the "soundscapes" or more ambient pieces and the album has its fair share of both. The album opens with "The Inner Game", a piece which gives Steve the chance to showcase the thinking behind his compositions. Take a looped chord structure, add a jazz-tainted melody and improvise to your heart's content. Steve has a natural ear for beautiful melody and a piece like "Bittersweet", a trio for two basses and one piano and the album's only studio recording, shows how his understanding of the use of space in music can create something far more interesting than a thousand-note chopfest. On the more ambient side "Chance" and "Pillow Mountain" have the sort of evocative quality that can take the listener away to a place of peace. Meanwhile "Drifting" sees Steve getting the most out of his E-bow (an electronic bow simulator). Anyone who caught one of Steve's umpteen gigs at Greenbelt this year will already be switched on to his unique sound. I encourage the rest of the world to get this album and find out just how versatile a bass guitar can be.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. The Inner Game [Listen]
2. Drifting [Listen]
3. The Virtue Of The Small [Listen]
4. The New Country [Listen]
5. Chance [Listen]
6. Blue Sticks [Listen]
7. Bittersweet [Listen]
8. Pillow Mountain [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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