Passion Star Records, 2006
REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/15/2006
They don’t call it mood music for nothing. Whether my mood is upbeat or downbeat, serious or playful, extroverted or introverted, there are musical choices aplenty to complement, enhance or counteract it.
Edo Castro -- in addition to playing one of the coolest-looking instruments ever built, a fretless eight-string bass – on his sophomore solo release
Early tracks “Beneath An Evening Sky,” “Bone Dreams” and “Song Of The Electric Whales” have a contemplative, unrushed, elegant feel, becoming almost hypnotic in places. The synth textures, percussion and Debopriyo Sarkar’s tabla on “Bone Dreams” are especially evocative.
“Blue Asia” has greater structure, lending it more of straight jazz feel, but it could hardly be called mainstream when it’s built around a duet between two bass players, Castro and guest Mark Egan. This tasty cut also features intricate percussion work from Paul Van Wageningen and Ian Dogole, as well as production crisp enough to remind of Steely Dan.
“Chance Of Rain” and “The Gift Of Blue (Parts 1 & 2)” carry forward the earlier contemplative mood and pace, though “Chance” has a particularly steady-thrumming bass line that adds firmness and tension. In between, the title track returns to straight jazz, with a stuttering rhythm section underpinning some terrific sax work from George Brooks, complemented nicely by Lorn Leber’s electric guitar and Tommy Kesecker’s vibes.
Castro is a San Francisco Bay Area musician who has played with numerous local luminaries, including Jill Knight.