Soundcheck CD Picks of the Week

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This week’s picks feature music from a bassist keen on exploring other instruments and a Seattle prog rock staple.

Stephan Crump & Rosetta Trio – Reclamation (Sunnyside Records)

Stephan Crump is a bass player who seems to be a serious guitar fan. His Rosetta Trio features both acoustic and electric varieties, played by guitarists Liberty Ellman and Jamie Fox, respectively. On the new album Reclamation, Crump creates a sort of catchy, jazz-based chamber music, with more than a little touch of Impressionism, as on the piece “The Leaves, The Rain.” Crump’s biggest work is a sprawling piece called “Pernambuco,” commissioned by the NY Guitar Festival and celebrating the Brazilian tree whose wood is used in instrument-making – especially for violin, cello, and bass bows – and is now endangered. The album is called Reclamation, by bassist Stephan Crump and his Rosetta Trio. - Picked by John Schaefer [Amazon]


Minus the Bear – OMNI (Dangerbird)

Music genres may come and go, but one that never seems to quite fade away: progressive rock. The Seattle-based band Minus the Bear carries the prog torch on their latest album, Omni. On it, vintage synth jams float ever-so-gently beneath pop-star vocals and rock guitar riffs. It’s easy to predict a culture clash at Minus the Bears upcoming concerts: older disciples of classic prog like Yes and Rush mingling with teenage fans of The Killers in turn mingling with a more ironic hipster contingent armed with old keytars. The song “Animal Backwards” will please them all. - Picked by Joel Meyer [Amazon]