Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
A gem in an otherwise erratic solo career
Gavin Wilson | 06/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since Mingus, a number of bassists have pursued solo careers -- for instance, Stan Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Charlie Haden, Al Johnson, Miroslav Vitous and Eberhard Weber. Usually they would first establish their reputation within a group under someone else's leadership. They would cut a solo album or two before leaving the group altogether. But once they leave the security of the group, their fortunes vary tremendously. Pastorius's tragic post-Weather Report career had more downs than ups. Yet Charlie Haden has thrived while going through phases of obsession with liberation politics and more recently LA and film noir.Since leaving after the marvellous 'Sweetnighter' album, Vitous's post-Weather Report career has been patchy. 'Magical Shepherd' was fairly dire, and it's one the few LPs I own where I am not looking forward to a CD re-master. (Looking for direction, Vitous had even started playing guitar, which Rolling Stone rated 'a big mistake'.)But suddenly, almost out of the blue in 1983, came this marvellous ECM album. In terms of instrumentation, the line-up is the same as Keith Jarrett's Nordic Quartet -- piano, sax, drums and bass -- and indeed Jon Christensen is the drummer here. But there the similarities end. For sax and piano, Vitous looked to Britain, and the highly distinctive playing of John Surman and John Taylor. Taylor is excellent, and unlike Jarrett, he never forces himself into the foreground. Surman is a one-off, and I really should have many more of his CDs. I particularly like the low notes he gets on baritone sax and bass clarinet. (If you like this album, you should also like 'Road to St Ives', and it is worth experimenting with 'John Dowland -- In Darkness Let me Dwell'.)Very few of the pieces here have the conventional structure of a song -- I get little or no sense of verse, chorus, bridge, solo and climax. Rather, most of the tracks are built around an idea, maybe a riff, and the band develop and explore it in a very sensitive and tasteful way. When the end of a track comes, it can be a surprise -- the lack of structure means that on first listen you don't know where you are. But on this album, that is not a failing. (Charlie Haden has a very acute sense of song structure, and that may be one of the keys for a bassist to have a successful solo career.)The meandering nature of the composition is part of what I love about this album. It's definitely in my Top 50, and one that I could never bear to lose."
James | Indianapolis, IN United States | 03/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Journey's End" is sublime. I was very sorry to see this meandering journey end. This is incredible music by the front tier of Britain's contemporary jazz masters. As noted above, few past bassists have succeeded in a solo career of their own. "Journey's End" (1982) marks a high point in Vitous's career as band leader. Vitous was replaced by Jaco in in the 70s band, Weather Report. As good as Jaco was, one wonders what Weather Report would have become with Miroslav Vitous holding down the rhythm section. The ECM sound is superb and the music is creative owing to John Surman's melodic sax/clarinet and painterly treatment. John Taylor's piano work dances and weaves its way around the melodies. Vitous on bass and Jon Christensen on drums propel the music onward and upward. Highly recommended."