Album Review: BASSic Instinct from David Finck
Album: BASSic Instinct
Artist: David Finck
Label: Burton Avenue Music
Jazz bassist and bandleader David Finck presents a new collection of contemporary jazz tunes and original compositions entitled BASSic Instinct. Accompanying Finck is a bevy of talented collaborators that include saxophonist Andy Snitzer, keyboardist Quinn Johnson, guitarist Bob Mann, trombonist Mike Davis, and pianist Meg Ruby, to name a handful. Vocalists featured on the recording are Melissa Errico, Kelly Mittleman, Téka Penteriche and Trist Curless. Together, Finck leads a big band orchestra through a cavalcade of playful tunes combining American swing and Latin jazz flavors.
For starters, “Dearly Beloved” is adorned in the swirling toots of Snitzer’s saxophone as the rhythm section layers the track in frothy ruffles and splashing effects. The exuberance in the music shimmers with a multi-dimensional quality. The warm and sunny ambience of “Theme from Mannix,” a reinterpretation of the theme song from the popular 1970’s TV series Mannix, is coated in contemporary trimmings. The glide of the horns shows a sophistication that is seamless and effortless, as the recording strolls into the bossa nova-swing hybrid “Bateu, Levou/Who’s Wrong or Right” pairing vocalists Téka Penteriche and Trist Curless. The duo exudes a romantic lure in their harmonizing vocals that holds the listener captive.
Kindling soothing sensations across “Seascape,” the arrangement is draped in the elegant strokes of Meg Ruby’s keys and gilded in the charming flickers of Finck’s bass. The sparseness speaks volumes of the emotional intensity being channeled through the music. “Tea for Two” returns the program to an exuberant vibe, generated by the glittering toots and traipsing keys. The breezy flutters of Laura Conwesser’s flute stoking “Joy” gives the track a light and airy fluidity, steering the course to a funky R&B groove through “So What.” Kelly Mittleman’s vocals on the track brandish a confident and sassy streak in the melody that pervades inner strength.
Off the beaten path of big band swing and romantic ballads is “Tico Tico No Fuba,” showcasing the agile ripples of Ruby’s keys sauteed in a Latin flare. The exotic accents pinwheeled by Kevin Winard’s percussion, shower the track in swirling tremors as waves of glimmering chimes are scrolled by Finck’s bass and Nelson Faria guitar strums. The mood is unbridled merriment.
BASSic Instinct is masterfully crafted to bring out the strengths in each performer. Finck shows a flexibility in his artistry that is precious. His vision is comparable to other bandleaders of his caliber but his openness to allow musicians and to go off the beaten path is a rare attraction.
David Finck – bass
Quinn Johnson, Philippe Saisse – keyboards
Teo Lima, Eric Halvorson, Cliff Almond, Clint de Ganon – drums
Ryan Quigley, Barry Danielian – trumpet
Andy Snitzer – tenor saxophone
Mike Davis – trombone
Tedd Firth, Meg Ruby – piano
Kevin Winard – drums and percussion
Bob Mann, Nelson Faria – guitar
Laura Conwesser – flute
Téka Penteriche, Trist Curless, Kelly Mittleman, Melissa Errico – vocals