Jeff Arenson | Colorado Springs, CO United States | 02/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Radio Free Albumeth is Stuart Hamm's most diverse and best CD. The follow up,Kings of Sleep, is also excellent but not nearly as diverse. The title track is an example of Stu playing Jazz/Rock Fusion and is even made better by Alan Holdsworth contributing an amazing solo. "Dr. Gradus Ad Parnasum" is a great reading of Debussy and is imitated verbatim by the bassist. "Moonlight Sonata" is another excellent reading of a classical piece and Stu captures the mood of the movement very well. Both are examples of the artist not allowing technique to overpower the tune but use it to capture the essence of the tune. "Sexually Active" is a tour de force for Stu. Slap and Tap abound in this piece and Stu even imitates sweep picking by sweeping with his thumb. The technique is mind numbing but,once again, the groove is never lost. Joe Satriani contibutes a funky solo of his own in this song."Simple Dreams" is a short song and Stu restrains from the pyrotechnics to show that he can play without overabundance. "Flow My Tears" is a borderline new age song but technique is abound in it. New-age influenced music has never sounded better and Satch adds another perfect solo to this piece."Country Music/Night in Hell" is another Stu tour de force. Many will recognize part of it since he plays a brief version of it live at Satriani concerts. Once again, Stu pulls out all of the stops. This Cd is essential for any bassist. Stu combines technique with good composition to give bassists plenty to work on in both categories.This is the stuff that Bassists dream of and any musician will appreciate."
A great album for you if you're a bassist
Jeff Arenson | 06/11/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stu Hamm - one of the most inventing bassists out there and his first album shows us the full diversity of his techniques and composing skills. If you play bass yourself you'll find a lot of challenging parts here!"
Prety Darn Amazing
Andrew Spear | New Zealand | 02/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big fan of Joe Satriani and loved what Stu did on his Live in San Francisco DVD (not just the solo, the entire performance) so I thought I had to give this album a shot.Going from some of Jo's newest stuff to this 1980's solo album was a big jump but all up I was quite blown away. I have heard Stu do a lot of amazing tap work but both his tapping and slapping on 'Sexually Active' and the entire album is just incredible - highly inspiring.I admit that I don't have many bass solo albums but I was truly inspired with what Stu does on this one. Highly recomended for bassists. Would be good to see how he does it all actually, can't wait for a Stu Hamm DVD!PS - it was interesting to see that the bass solo on the Joe Satriani Live in San Francisco album was mostly based around 'Moonlight Sonata' and 'Country Music' off this album!"
"Yes, I agree with other people that have reviewed this CD : if you are a bass player, you'll surely love it. If not...well, why not? There are some great melodies, even if somebody who don't like bass might think Stu is overplaying. Well, that's music for musicians basically (or maybe I have to say "bassically"?). It's Stuart Hamm's first album, but not his best. Stu is important because he was one of the first bass players to tap and slap and made a whole CD with this bass' techniques in mind (but remember, he's always trying to keep melody at first). A pioneer? Maybe.I think he's fortunate (and we bass players too) because a small record company (Relativity records) believe in this alternative solo projects that major labels don't give a damm.If you can find it, check his second CD ("Kings of sleep")where I think Stu is at his peak. If you have seen him live with Joe Satriani you probably know that ten years after this CD Stu continues to play some passages during his live bass solo. Nineties give us great bass players, but Stu's still here."