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Beller, Bryan: Thanks In Advance

Bass virtuoso/composer Bryan Beller pushes many of the right buttons here on his latest solo album Thanks In Advance. The sometime sideman to both Mike Keneally and Steve Vai, Beller also keeps himself busy running SWR bass amplification for Fender Musical Instruments. Here on his new solo release, Beller incorporates jazz-fusion, blues, funk, rock, and pop, creating songs that are not just about amazing bass playing, but catchy tracks filled with tasty ensemble arrangements and solo spots. Tunes like "Casual Lie Day", with funky horns and some fantastic Larry Carlton-ish guitar melodies from Chris Cottros, or the funk-reggae-jazz splash of "Greasy Wheel", allow for some groove laden bass lines from Beller but also gives plenty of room for his cohorts to step in and help pave the way. The smooth jazz of "Blind Sideways" is a charming piece, Bellers complex yet melodic lines trade with some 70's styled Fender Rhodes from Jeff Babko, while the engaging bass solo "Life Story" will have many reminiscing about the late, great, Jaco Pastorius. Of course, it's the lengthier pieces here that really allow the listener to dig in deep, "Cave Dweller" being a lean & mean blues-fusion shuffle with some stinging hard rock guitar from Griff Peters, while "Love Terror Adrenaline / Break Through" is a 10-minute progressive fusion treat, lead guitars handled by Mike Keneally, who scorches as always. There's a vocal piece, the hard rocking, somewhat proggy "Play Hard", featuring drums from Spock's Beard mainman Nick D'Virgilio and lead vocals courtesy of Jude Crossen, while the final two cuts, the title track and "From Nothing", have an almost Weather Report type feel to them, the latter sees Scheila Gonzales contributing some squonking sax alongside some busy drum, bass, and guitar work.

I sometimes hate to keep using the word 'tasty' when it comes to describing music, but damn if it doesn't apply here. This is just classy, well-written, and well played stuff, showing what a polished composer Beller is, as well as being a powerhouse bassist.

Tasty, tasty...simply tasty!


Track Listing

  1. Snooze Bar
  2. Casual Lie Day
  3. Greasy Wheel
  4. Cost Of Doing Business
  5. Blind Sideways
  6. Life Story
  7. Cave Dweller
  8. Play Hard
  9. Love Terror Adrenaline / Break Through
  10. Thanks In Advance
  11. From Nothing

Added: November 10th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2602
Language: english

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