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

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Adrian Belew - Side One – Maybe it’s not fair to say Adrian Belew has been through a lot of phases. It’s more like he has many facets within him, and you see different things depending on which way he turns. For this...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues