Bassist Douglas Johnson steps into the limelight with a solo studio project Clevinjourneys (self-released). It's Douglas live with tastefully deployed drum loops and multiple layers of figure and ground on his Clevinbass, which is an electric stick-contrabass. Everything is done in one shot with the aid of a couple of pedals.
I often do my first listens without looking at who or what I am hearing, to get the music directly without preconceptions. When I came back to the what in this case, I was surprised that all of this is bass, because he gets all kinds of ranges in there; he pizzes and bows equally, and he uses electronic alteration at times for another voice.
It's lots of bass, sure. But it's also primarily music. And as music it is a trance inducer in the good sense. Patterns weave their way and you zone in with it.
Is this a virtuoso bass tour de force? No. It's not meant to be that. It's the musical mind of Douglas Johnson transposed to his multi-layered Clevin bass parts.
A journey that is most captivating!
Album cover photo courtesy of Peter Pawinski (http://www.pawinskiphotography.com).