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Hamm, Stu: The Dairy Of Patrick Xavier

Stu Hamm is a world class bass player and has played or recorded with the likes of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Michael Schenkar Group, Richie Kotzen and many others. He released his first solo album in 1988 titled Radio Free Albemuth. He is back with The Diary Of Patrick Xavier, his eighth overall.

The album features only Hamm and his bass and there is an underlying theme here even though the music is completely instrumental. Hamm is an avid reader and while staying at an hotel in Italy a book titled The Diary of Patrick Xavier caught his eye. It seems the events in the book mirrored places and situations in Hamm’s own life. The album’s ten tracks are based on these events.

Instrumental concept albums are rather difficult for me to follow as relating to the theme without words can be a difficult thing. However, I will say Hamm does relay his feelings and mood through his bass demonstrating just how good a player he is. The first track “Goodbye” is a melancholic and poignant piece with a pretty melody. Next is “My Boss drives a Mercedes…but I’m working for minimum wage plus tips” is slightly more intense which is fitting given the sarcastic nature of the song title. On “Smoke Break” the mood is more jovial and the playing is crisp and clear bordering on virtuosic yet still within the confines of a great melody. “Buona Notte” is another beautiful and wistful piece highlighted with a gorgeous arpeggio. Amazing musicianship highlights “Chopping Wood” while “The Weeping Beech” is much more serene. “The Ballad of Billy Pilgrim” features waves of intensely distorted effects and is more experimental in nature.

Even though I am not a musician I enjoyed listening to The Diary Of Patrick Xavier. Whether a musician or not there is a lot to enjoy and many fine melodies to absorb. Recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Goodbye (5:24)
2. My Boss drives a Mercedes…but I’m working for minimum wage plus tips (3:37)
3. Smoke Break (3:51)
4. Buona Notte Amore Mia, Ovunque Tu Sia (4:41)
5. The City (3:35)
6. Chopping Wood (3:57)
7. Co Rd (5:43)
8. The Weeping Beech (7:56)
9. The Ballad of Billy Pilgrim (6:15)
10. Hello (4:53)

Added: September 6th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1130
Language: english

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