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Keller Williams: Bass
Keller Williams’ well known penchant for single- word album titles may lead one to believe that Bass is all about fishing, a notion that its cover art doesn’t do anything to dispel. But nope, it’s the instrument, which Williams plays exclusively on his latest album. Recorded with Williams’ reggae band Kdubalicious (Jay Starling on keyboards and Mark D on drums), Bass, despite the absence of Williams guitar playing, doesn’t come off as an anomaly. In fact, it’s some of his strongest, most memorable and diverse music in some time. Singing in a lucid, warm voice, Williams is at home traversing an array of styles ranging from dub (“2 B U”) and onedrop (“Positive”) to soulful grooving(“Hollywood Freaks”) and pure psych-funk (“Super Hot”). Opening track “The Sun and Moon’s Vagenda” is as close to mainstream pop rock as Williams ever gets and “High” rides on an understated, jazzy backbeat and a soul-jazz keyboard line that’s assuredly hypnotic. And what about that bass? Williams will never be Jaco Pastorius or James Jamerson but he holds down a weighty bottom throughout and drives the melody on several of the tracks. Bass is one of those records that—like Kids, his recent one—at first perplexes, quickly endears, and soon enough, reveals its crucial place in the jigsaw puzzle that is Keller Williams.
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