Exposé Online banner

The Bass Gang — Evasioni & Fughe
(NBB-11, 2003, CD)

The Bass Gang — La Contrabbassatta
(NBB-14, 2005, CD)

by Mac Beaulieu, Published 2007-03-01

Evasioni & Fughe Cover artLa Contrabbassatta Cover artAlberto Pocini is a double-bass player from Italy who's played extensively in his homeland as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra. Pocini's After Genesis project attests to his varied musical interests, with his strongest passion being for his instrument. He founded NBB Records as a vehicle to promote the contrabass in varying capacities, from its use in traditional roles to the most creative use of the instrument, limited only by the imagination of the performer in question. The Bass Gang is one such vehicle, offering the bass as supportive and lead instrument in a concise, popular type format. Its core is a group of four musicians using the double-bass exclusively to render familiar works from many genres. Pieces from Glenn Miller, Gershwin, and Van Halen are included alongside popular and lesser known classical pieces. Evasioni & Fughe includes Weather Report's "Birdland," while on La Contrabbassata we find a piece that arranges snippets from Tchaikovsky, Brubeck, and Webber into a seamless jaunt in 5/4. There's a limited range of colors available in such a project, but listeners might be surprised at the flexibility of the instrument when removed from the confines of its usual role. The musicians are free to elicit dynamic or tender solos, along with the occasional use of percussive tapping to help fuel the fire in some of the more animated pieces. The considerable classical lineage of the group is no impediment to their finding a groove. Band member Andrea Pighi is mostly responsible for the impressive transcriptions and arrangements, ranging from the nearly aggressive to the lovingly gentle, with a variety that prevents a play by play review. The Bass Gang is unlike much of Exposé material, wildly varying though that may be, yet it's a uniquely pleasant diversion. Readers may prefer to start with Evasioni & Fughe to avoid their most blatant pop exercise of Van Halen's "Jump," a truncated version of which opens the second disc. However, La Contrabbassata does have the added interest of being recorded live with added guest bassists, though the recording does not include audience reaction.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2003 releases, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): The Bass Gang

Latest news

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Haze - In the End: 1978 - 1988 – In the End: 1978-1988 is a compilation of various tracks that chronicle the 10 year existence of one the more undeservedly obscure UK progressive bands. In their early days, the band suffered from...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues