MP3 Bryan Beller - Thanks In Advance
The renowned bassist for Steve Vai, Mike Keneally and Dethklok creates an emotionally charged, instrumentally intense, and personally definitive jazz/rock compositional statement about breaking through anger and finding gratitude.
11 MP3 Songs in this album (59:54) !
Related styles: ROCK: Instrumental Rock, JAZZ: Jazz-Rock
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Bryan Beller - "Thanks In Advance"
Five years after his acclaimed debut album "View," renowned bassist Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Mike Keneally, Dethklok) creates an emotionally charged, personally definitive jazz/rock compositional statement about breaking through anger and finding gratitude. Drawing on disparate influences from jazzer John Scofield to Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, and even Rage Against The Machine, Beller cranks up the instrumental intensity with fellow heavyweights Mike Keneally (solo artist, Frank Zappa); drummers Marco Minnemann (world-famous clinician), Toss Panos (Larry Carlton, Robben Ford), Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa), and Nick D''Virgilio (Spock''s Beard, Tears For Fears); and special guests violinist Ann Marie Calhoun (Jethro Tull; 2008 YouTube "My Grammy Moment" winner) and saxophonist Scheila Gonzalez (Zappa Plays Zappa).
The Story Behind "Thanks In Advance"
Bassist Bryan Beller seemed to have it all: a storied sideman career (Mike Keneally, Steve Vai), regularly published articles in Bass Player Magazine, an acclaimed debut solo album ("View," 2003 Onion Boy), and an executive corporate position running SWR bass amplification for Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. But the untimely death of a close friend in early 2005 exposed deep fissures in his own identity, and instigated a period of intense and sometimes painful self-examination. One year later, Beller had quit his day job, returned to life as a freelance musician, moved from L.A. to Nashville, found love, and experienced an epiphany that forever shifted his view of life, and his role in it.
"Thanks In Advance" is the musical manifestation of that journey. Set to Beller''s highly detailed, rock-infused, jazz/fusion compositional voice, it''s an intense trip through the heart of personal darkness – from the lushly dissonant orchestral arrangement of "Casual Lie Day," to the searing, grinding dirge of "Cave Dweller," and culminating with the frenzied "Love Terror Adrenaline/Break Through" featuring renowned virtuoso guitarist/composer Mike Keneally (solo artist/Frank Zappa) and recent Modern Drummer cover subject Marco Minnemann – before finally reaching a state of personal and musical peace in the title track and the album''s unexpected close.
"I was constantly unhappy, even angry, about my everyday life, wondering why this or that was all ''happening to me,''" says Beller. "Only after a shock to my system did I get that, ultimately, I was the source of it all. Where I am now is infinitely more satisfying. So ''Thanks In Advance'' really completes ''View,'' which I now realize was a well-crafted complaint about things, and tries to convey how I got to being grateful for life''s everyday content, whatever it brings, as opposed to being angry with it. It sure wasn''t a painless process, but it''s been deeply, profoundly rewarding, and it''s a message I''d like to share with others. That''s what I''m up to with this record."
More comfortable than ever in his own playing skin, Beller worked fretless, fretted, acoustic/electric, boutique and vintage basses into the mix, and contributed piano and guitar tracks as well. But he left plenty of spotlight for a stylistically diverse all-star cast: the aforementioned Keneally and Minnemann; drummer Joe Travers and saxophonist Scheila Gonzalez (Zappa Plays Zappa); violinist Ann Marie Calhoun (Steve Vai); View veteran guitarists Rick Musallam (Mike Keneally, Ben Taylor) and Griff Peters; keyboardist Jeff Babko (James Taylor, Robben Ford); and drummers Nick D''Virgilio (Spock''s Beard, Tears For Fears) and Toss Panos (Michael Landau, Larry Carlton). And that''s just the L.A. contingent; Beller tracked a whole separate group of Nashville musicians, including some veteran R&B grease in guitarist Bruce Dees (James Brown, Ronnie Milsap) and keyboardist Clayton Ivey (Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin) to complement the virtuosic firepower. There was also a personal touch, as Dees and Ivey previously recorded with the woman Beller moved to Nashville for:
R&B singer/songwriter/keyboardist Kira Small, who also played Rhodes on the album''s title track.
While recording occurred in eleven different studios (primarily in Nashville, Los Angeles and San Diego), Beller bucked the remote-album file-swapping trend and personally attended nearly every session, bringing cohesion to the production and personally preserving the album''s narrative. "After a year of seclusion writing the material, I was more than ready to get out of the house and interact with the people I trusted to bring this music to life. Driving back and forth from Nashville to SoCal, with a van full of gear and basses and hard drives, going from studio to studio…it was really exhilarating to feel it all come together. That''s an easy one to be grateful for."
Thanks In Advance features performances by:
Mike Keneally (solo artist, Frank Zappa)
Rick Musallam (Mike Keneally Band, Ben Taylor)
Griff Peters (featured guitarist on Beller''s first album "View")
Chris Cottros (Nashville session cat)
Bruce Dees (James Brown, Ronnie Milsap)
Jeff Babko (James Taylor, Robben Ford, Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Jody Nardone (Crimson Jazz Trio)
Kira Small (solo artist, Martina McBride, Wynonna Judd)
Clayton Ivey (Wilson Pickett, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin)
Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa, Lisa Loeb)
Toss Panos (Michael Landau, Larry Carlton)
Marco Minnemann (solo artist/clinician)
Nick D''Virgilio (Tears For Fears, Spock''s Beard)
Marcus Finnie (Diana Ross)
Saxphonist Scheila Gonzalez (Zappa Plays Zappa)
Violinist Ann Marie Calhoun (Steve Vai)
Bryan Beller - biography
Bryan Beller has maintained a frenetic, multi-faceted career as a bassist, composer, writer and clinician for over fourteen years. On his own, Beller released his debut solo album, the jazz/rock-flavored View, in late 2003 to widespread critical acclaim, earning the monthly feature review in Bass Player Magazine ("…it''s a thrill to witness an artist like Beller find his voice with such a self-assured debut..."). His second album Thanks In Advance, a deeply personal narrative set to advanced jazz/rock compositional confidence, is due out in late 2008.
As a sideman, he''s earned a reputation as a uniquely talented yet supremely tasteful hired gun bassist for adventurous rock guitarists and singer/songwriters alike. He was Steve Vai’s choice on bass for the live CD/DVD Sound Theories – a collaboration with Holland’s renowned Metropol Orchestra – and toured worldwide with Vai throughout 2007. Recent touring work includes the "band" Dethklok, a tongue-in-cheek extreme metal band borne of the hit Cartoon Network "Adult Swim" show Metalocalypse. He’s also been a musical partner of freak/genius guitarist/composer Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa) for thirteen years, ten albums, countless tours, and millions of notes. Other sideman experiences include tours with Wayne Kramer (MC5) and Dweezil Zappa.
Beller''s work as a freelance writer includes cover stories and interviews with Justin Chancellor (Tool), Jonas Hellborg, Victor Wooten, John Patitucci, Lee Sklar, Neil Stubenhaus, Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Nine Inch Nails), Jimmy Haslip, Matt Garrison, Oteil Burbridge, Dave LaRue, Billy Sheehan, Emmy-award winning television scorer W.G. "Snuffy" Walden (The West Wing), and countless others.
As a pure player, a masterclass clinician (sponsored by Mike Lull Custom Guitars, SWR Amplification and D’addario Strings), a Contributing Editor for Bass Player Magazine, and a former Vice-President of SWR Sound Corporation, Beller brings a global perspective to the world of bass, and sits at the intersection of many of its current pathways. After thirteen years in Los Angeles, he now lives in Nashville, TN, and continues to travel often.