Aaron Lumley

Wilderness

By Glen HallRight out of the gate, this solo bass set is no-holds-barred, intense improvisation that grabs the attention. "Bastard Hawk" has acoustic bassist Aaron Lumley channelling his inner raptor ― screels and squalls, thumps and scrapes appear with dizzying rapidity. Rhythmically energetic, the brief "Woodwose" makes its statement emphatically and then shuts up ― nice. Some pieces are less succinct, but no less intriguing and don't wear out their welcome, like "Coyotes Proclaim Her Arrival," with has some dolorous double-stops and dissonance. "Among the Oaks" is resonant, with low-end rumbling pitches vying for dominance, which the bassist controls deftly, giving precedence to one and then bringing another into focus. Lumley employs a rainbow of techniques: strumming, bowing, tapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, scrapes and scratches, all on gut rather than steel strings, which brings increased challenging unpredictability into the sound-making process. Because he's always changing how he elicits his sounds and which ones are combined there are no dull moments. For a solo bass recording ― often sober, oh-so-serious documents ― Wilderness is relentlessly energetic and engaging.
(Independent)
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