If patience is a virtue, Austrian bass prodigy Harald Weinkum should receive
his sainthood. Without any label support, Weinkum miraculously assembled an
army of fusions finest bass players to create what would ultimately become
his debut for the Hot Wire label, Bass-Talk 8: A Bass Bolero. The BIT
instructors determination over a challenging three-year session motivated
him to record with: Gary Willis, Steve Bailey, Abraham Laboriel, and many more.
Weinkums drive paid off; he remembers the process: Victor Wooten
was the hardest [to attain] because hes on the road all the time and doesnt
live in LA. I went to his shows whenever he came to LA and there was one time
he said to show up at his soundcheck in Arizona. So, I jumped in my car and
drove to Arizona to record his track!
If gathering such
an impressive dossier of musicians were the discs highlight, Weinkum could
be proud of the result. However, the album itself is the true feat. The artist
decided early that the entire collection would be in 3/4 time. Weinkum explains,
I realized that I wanted to do something a little different. A lot of
the tunes that I have on there: Bolero, Recuerdos De La Alhambra,
and the Erik Satie piece were in 3/4 time. The more I thought about it, I realized
the music that I really care about is in 3 [time] and I just decided to go all
the way with it.
While the time signature may be a central theme, the CD is as eclectic as the
musicians involved in the project. Weinkum was not afraid to tackle the most
challenging compositions. His rendition of Maurice Ravels Bolero
alone makes a profound statement. The track starts gently and, as each bass
enters, builds with dynamic beauty. By the climactic ending, the listener is
in ecstatic disbelief.
Bolero is certainly not the only gem on the album. His rendition
of Jaco Pastorius masterpiece Teen Town is exceptional. As
with any great interpreter of art, Weinkum simultaneously remains respectful
to the original composition while making it his own. Harald Weinkums talent
and persistence should take him to great musical heights.
Bass-Talk 8: A Bass Bolero