All Too Familiar Virtuosity
M. Moss | Albany, NY United States | 05/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong. I worship Edgar Meyer as a musical deity. But much of this CD will sound familiar to long-time fans. Instead of Sam Bush playing mandolin...it's Edgar. Instead of Russ Barenburg playing guitar...it's Edgar. Bela Fleck on banjo.....nope, Edgar.
The bass playing is great, but predictable. You've heard it before. Edgar's piano is dominant on this album. It's better-than-fine; occasionally suprising and interesting.
But there are long dry spells between the really interesting, set-up-and-take-notice moments on this CD. Yes, it's virtuostic bass playing. And yes, isn't wonderful that he can play all those instruments competently. So, all in all, it's a somewhat self-indulgent album with mixed results. Fans of Edgar's should definitely have this disc in their collections, but I'd suggest hitting rewind on the really good parts!"
LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!!!
Sor_Fingers | Boulder, CO USA | 03/18/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"That really seems to be all that Edgar Meyer is saying with this new album. Because he plays all the instruments on the album, the record is less of a record and more of Edgar Meyer having a field day in a recording studio. The result is a bunch of superficial sounding, incredibly doctored music. Meyer's collaborations with the masters of other instruments are much better recordings than this show-off solo project.
Don't get me wrong, Meyer is a fantastic bass player. Probably the best and most creative player alive today by most standards. His piano playing on the album is alright, though it leaves a small amount of musicality to be desired. However the playing on the other instruments is really quite basic and in some places, rather clumsy. All the other instruments really provide more of a color change from bass and piano. This isn't a huge problem, it just leaves more to be desired when Meyer has recorded similar types of music with such greats like Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Mike Marshall and others.
The other problem with this album is that it sounds incredibly over-produced. Some sections of certain pieces seem to have been not overdubbed, but two independent tracks that have very little in common musically that have been spliced together. The most notable sections where this occurs are secitons of "Roundabout" and "Don't Feed the Bear." The result is music that sounds very doctored. Some sections of the album don't even sound like they could be realistically performed by any ensemble. Everything really sounds like an over-produced studio gimmick.
Whether it's the production or the music, I'm not really moved by the music on this album like I am by a lot of Meyer's other compositions on other recordings. This album is just too hard sift through to really find music I can sit down and enjoy. It's worth a listen just to hear Meyer's stellar bass playing, but you can hear that on his other much better recordings. Not to mention, stellar playing by other fantastic musicians. Don't throw away a lot of cash on this self-indulgent solo project, it's not really worth it."
Scrapironjazzerino | New Joisy | 02/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Editorialists and critics-WHO NEEDS 'EM!
1. The jibe that this work is self-indulgent is just plain foolish. Wow-art as self-indulgent; who'd a thunk it?
2. I've always felt that a non-player who has no "prodigous talent" has absolutely nothing to say when it comes to criticizing/analyzing someone who does have any talent, let alone a "prodigous" amount.
3. Our insights can be of little value to a true artist or a genius of any ilk. How presumptuous human beings are.
Why do you think Dylan doesn't want to hear the drivel my "2 cents" would probably be? We aren't in the same ballpark kids. This is art, not science.
I suggest open-mindedness, gratitude, and delight as the proper responses to any good art, especially music.
Boy, if Chopin wasn't so darn emotional............and that darn Johnny Bach, what a snoot he was tempering all those scales! Did he really have to do ALL the possible variations????????????? Patrician show-off, HE!"