Recorded in 1996 for the obscure Audioimage record label, now remastered and reissued by a prominent rock-fusion entity, this recording conveys master bassist and stick player Shawn Malone’s beefy sound and immensely fluid picking. Featuring King Crimson Warr guitarist Trey Gunn and David Bowie’s longtime guitarist Reeves Gabrels, the music iterated here pronounces gobs of pop and zing amid a forward-moving impetus.
Malone takes charge from the onset and uses his arsenal for dual purposes. He limberly holds down the groove with drummer Sean Reinert while generating a horde of tonal contrasts and multihued harmonic exercises. Known for his work with the prog-fusion band Gordian Knot, the artist has long been considered one of the premier artisans of the e-bass. And this album proves that notion in rather glistening fashion.
Brimming with polyrhythmic flows and some turbo-charged breakouts by Reinert, the preponderance of these works come right at you with the impetus of a bullet train. They provide a curiously interesting spin on John Coltrane’s "Giant Steps," while Malone executes a gorgeous solo Stick performance of Bach’s "Sinfonia." However, one minor beef would pertain to the rather superfluous soloing maneuvers heard on Pat Metheny’s eloquent composition "Ubiquity Road," featuring jazz guitarist Adam Levy, rounding out a trio lineup. Besides the highly entertaining aspects, Malone renders a mini-clinic via his often jaw-dropping performances.