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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hans Reichel & Eroc - The Return of Onkel Boskopp – Careful. This is Hans Reichel; not to be confused with another German experimentalist - Achim Reichel. The Reichel featured here is known for constructing home made string instruments, and performing...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues