Pocket Fulla Nasty is bassist to the stars Doug Johns second solo album coming after 2006's self titled debut and as you would expect from someone capable of sharing a stage with Buddy Miles, Dweezil Zappa or Victor Wooten the standard of musicianship throughout the disc is stupendously high. As always though when superb players get together to record an album the question is will they end up with a self indulgent workout, or a cohesive song based album?
Kicking in with a tremendous jazz laced groove with pumping sax and trumpet from Kenny Anderson and Joe Miller respectively "Scrumpt" is a fantastic album opener. It picks you up and gives you a shake before making you move to the beat, having the sort of groove that demands that even a quick walk across the room transforms itself into a beat laden swagger.
Unfortunately though a few of the songs while not dropping in musical standard, do lack the authoritative attention grabbing thump that makes "Scrumpt" so infectious and as the album goes on it's the smoother more introspective tracks like "Umm...Continue" or "Local Forecast" that stick in the mind. "Local Forecast" in particular winds it's subtle ways into the subconscious.
I can't stress enough how impressive Johns is right through this entire disc, not content with laying down some mightily impressive bass lines, he also handles nearly all the guitar duties and even plays and programs the drums in places. On the rest of the album Chris Ceja more than ably assists behind the kit and his driving funk groove copliments Johns perfectly.
Personally I think the feel of the album could have been improved with a stronger involvement from the brass section as when they do come to the fore the grooves become thicker and fuller.
To answer the earlier queation, Pocket Fulla Nasty is not in any way self indulgent, in fact it's an excellent vehicle to showcase Doug Johns' obvious talents and some of the music on show is fabulous, however too often the songs just aren't memorable enough to elevate the album to essentail status, although it is a worthwhile listen.
03. Chump Suey
05. Funk Bomb
07. Southwest Song
08. Pocket Fulla Nasty
09. Local Forecast
10. Chew On A Dog
11. Truth In Nature