by Jeff Becker
Five DELIGHTFUL Stars! Glen Ackerman composer, arranger, electric and double bassist’s latest release, Glenious Alien Landscape, on Blue Bamboo Music, reveals the unique and personal sound and concept of his playing and composing. The set consists of jazz-rock numbers, blues inspired selections, ballads, two reggae-ish tunes, several hip and respectful jazz fusion inspired tracks, and straight ahead blazing swingers. The interaction of the various ensemble players and the bassist produces a distinctive sound that is unique to the Glenious Alien sound, such as on the short and full of “Funcraft.” Elsewhere, Ackerman leave lots of room for saxophonist Woody Witt to solo and bring his invention, driven and hard hitting sound, that creates absolute musical energy. Ackerman, often solos in a guitar-like manner in the upper range of his bass in an impactful manner as exhibited on, “Dead Moon Falls,” “Tyranotron” and “Funcraft Reprise.”
The “Flamethrower” begins with a stately on-the-beat drum machine figure with Ackerman playing solo bass with a wah-wah effect that leads to a reggae inspired groove. “Pure Distance” then shifts to the hip hard-swinger that boppers would relish. Ackerman’s lovely “Young Boy Daydreams…” is built on an infectious motif that is played as solo piano piece by pianist Matija Dedic. The group is interlocked in a tight six feel for “… On The Way Home” with Dedic playing an amazing solo followed by Witt’s extended soprano saxophone blow; sounding great as always.
Elaborate compositions that effortlessly unfold with both familiar and surprising sounds are at the heart of this project, but the scorching guitar solos by Paul Chester and Witt’s flying notes of excitement really take this release to the realm of something special. Get this project, even if you’re a hard core bopper expanding your collection – Glenious Alien Landscape will lead to many splendid musical discoveries. Highly Recommended! Five DISTINCTIVE Stars!