Alone Together – Joseph Patrick Moore
Root Cellar Records
Solo bass albums always promise more than they can deliver. Let's
face it; the bass is not a soloist's instrument. It is the backbone, the
bottom end…the bass. There are dozens of bassists who really can turn the
instrument inside out and explode to the front of a combo, but solo, it just
doesn't churn my butter.
This is clearly the case with Alone Together, a dark mixture of
overlays, dubbing, studio work and, yes, bass. Moore is great at what he
does. Don't get me wrong. I particularly admire his ability to switch
between electric and acoustic without diminishing his technique on either.
Moore also holds his own with the bow, which is the device that sets string
players apart from the rest of the musical kingdom.
A fantastic element of this record is that he paints the scene for
each song in the liner notes. Therefore, it is possible to dream along the
same lines as the musician and see what he's trying to accomplish.
The tunes on Alone Together blend into a homogenous slush such that
the rhythms and tempos get lost within one another. A perfect example is
"Bebop Charlie" which could survive on its own as a jazz tune, but it melts
into its two neighbors as just another part of the oily mixture.
If you're a bass fanatic and want to hear a prot of Wooten,
Carter, and Frisell you will probably dig Joseph Patrick Moore. But for most
of us non-bassaholics, our ears would do just fine having Moore backing a
far superior band.