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Hamm, Stuart: Live Stu X 2

Stuart Hamm, bass player extraordinaire and the man behind the successful BX3 tour featuring fellow electric bassists Jeff Berlin and Billy Sheehan, has released his first solo album in nearly seven years. Not surprisingly, since BX3 has consumed his career lately, the first eight tracks on Live Stu X 2 were captured during his BX3 set at Philadelphia's World Café on April 20, 2006. With guitarist Jude Gold and drummer John Mader, the man performs a moody collection of songs featuring solo material and one tune (the simmering "Katahdin") from Hamm's GHS collaboration with Chick Corea's Elektric Band guitarist Frank Gambale and former Journey drummer Steve Smith. "Terminal Beach" shows off Hamm's nimble approach to his instrument, utilizing polyphonic two-handed tapping, slapping and popping techniques. But the set really kicks into gear on "Nostalgia," featuring Hamm's renowned brand of frenzied fusion. Much like his BX3 touring partner Jeff Berlin, Hamm shares the spotlight with his fellow players, and Gold is given space to soar on this song. Elsewhere, Gold and Hamm entwine their instruments in a melancholy dance on "Flow My Tears," and "Lone Star" once again showcases Hamm's distinct style in a raucous piece that closes the Philly portion of the disc on a high note.

Live Stu X 2's final three songs were recorded on May 10, 2004, at San Francisco's Café Du Nord with a radically altered lineup. In a four-piece environment, oddly enough, the mood is more serene and minimalist. Absent a guitar, Hamm's playing is frequently complemented by a saxophone, as well as keys and percussion. The result is a wholly different vibe that presents an intriguing dichotomy. Hamm fans will welcome this double helping of live material, while new listeners will be treated to a diverse musical palette that proves why Hamm is good enough to gig next to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Either way, it's Live Stu for you…

Track Listing:
1) Intro
2) Terminal Beach
3) Katahdin
4) Outbound
5) Nostalgia
6) Flow My Tears
7) Radio Free Albemuth
8) Lone Star
9) Intermission
10) Te Extrano
11) Yellow Happy
12) A New Peace

Added: April 2nd 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Stuart Hamm Web Site
Hits: 3131
Language: english

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