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MP3 BeBop Bahama - JAZZ: Bebop

Classic Jazz Standards performed on the Steel Drums, Vibes and Guitar along with some of LA''s Hottest Jazz recording artists. Steel Drums like youv''e never heard before.

10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Bebop, WORLD: Island

The group BeBop Bahama is making a big impact on Jazz aficionados and Caribbean fans everywhere. The group''s new self-titled CD release is comprised of classic jazz standards performed on instruments such as the Steel Drums, Vibes, Guitar, Bass and Drums. The group features Steel Drum recording artist Tom Liston as well as one of LA''s most in demand Drummers Chris Wabich(who plays the Drums & Percussion at the same time all live!) Joining Tom & Chris on the CD are some of LA''s top notch Jazzmen. On Guitar is arguably LA''s best jazz guitarist, Larry Koonse. The Bass chair is split between Dave Stone and Larry Steen, both highly respected studio bassists. Sharing the spotlight on the vibes are the amazingly talented Brian Atkinson & Craig Fundyga.

BeBop Bahama has created their own unique spin on jazz. Showcasing the Steel Drums as the lead voice as well as for improvising, they have entered into uncharted territories for this instrument. The group interprets well known jazz melodies in ways that previously have not been attempted. For example, the traditional bebop tunes "Groovin'' High" and "Au Privave" are now played in a Calypso/Soca style, while still maintaining an open, jazzy feel throughout. The Calypso rhythm speaks freely while the group gets into bop improvised solos.

There are some cookin'' straight ahead, swing & bebop tunes thrown into the mix as well. As for new sounds, check out the band''s take on the popular tune "Black Orpheus". It is a totally new version of this much recorded standard. The group plays it as a South American romantic 3/4 Chacarera. This tune takes on a whole new personality that is astonsihing.

A few years ago, Tom Liston first heard the steel drumming of great artists such as Othello Molineaux, Boogsie Sharpe and Andy Narrell. This is what Tom had to say when asked about his own steel drum influences: "I think that Othello was the first guy I heard play steel drum that really knocked me out. I had heard some of the stuff that he had recorded with Jaco and it sounded really cool. I also heard him play some stuff with Monty Alexander and this kind of opened my ears up harmonically as to what could be done on the instrument. I then checked out Andy Narrell and Boogsie Sharpe''s playing. Two other fantastic players on the steel pan. The great thing about these 3 steel drummers is that they all have their own unique sound and style of playing. I had been practicing all along{when I first started playing the steel drums} various bop heads, jazz standards and different lines. Playing improvised jazz on the steel drums just kind of came to me I guess. You can''t go out and say I''m going to play like a particular person. It can make one''s playing sound very contrived and stiff. I believe it just sort of happens naturally, in your own voice if it is going to. I was hearing tons of lines that I desired to play on the steel drums but getting them to speak out on this instrument is no easy task I''ll tell you. Just swinging itself on this axe is not easy either! Some of my major jazz influences are legends such as Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Christian and all the great classic tenor player like Coleman, Lester, Don Byas and Ben Webster".

Tom had always wanted to record many of the great jazz classics on the steel drums, playing bop lines on the instrument and have his own voice. All he needed was the right band.

When he met up with Drummer Chris Wabich, the two instantly clicked. Chris''s drumming is amazing on this cd. He not only plays amazing drums but he plays percussion at the very same time! No joke. On several tunes he has one hand shaking a ganza, scratching a guiro, or playing the "iron" Calypso rhythm, while freely improvising with the rest of his limbs. You have to hear & see it to believe it. He actually sounds like 2 or 3 guys at one time but with the utmost of taste,time and precision.

With this release, the steel drums are the main voice here and not just a background instrument for musical coloration. Tom has deep jazz roots going all the way back from Dixieland jazz to the present. With Tom''s muscial selections heard here on the CD, it''s obvious that he has a deep appreciation for all types of jazz and world music.

The ensemble shines on every cut. Check out all of the guitar solos by Larry Koonse. They are all so beautifully constructed and swinging! Bassist Dave Stone not only digs in on the bop tunes, but plays so tastefully over the changes, adding just the right touch. Larry Steen nails the ethno bass chair, contributing some very versatile bass lines and groovy solos. Add to this the tasty Afro/Cuban vibes work from Craig Fundyga, and the swinging vibes performance by Brian Atkinson, and you have an exciting and inspired CD.

Check Bebop Bahama out. You''ll be pleasntly surprised with their new take on familiar jazz tunes.

Enjoy the fresh new sounds!

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