Sunday, November 10, 2013

Roberto Vally Boom Boom Boom BN 2013

Roberto Vally is one of only a handful of artists to reinvent contemporary instrumental music by transcending genre with a global beat.
Brent Black /
Boom Boom Boom hits you right between the eyes and I will explain why in a moment. In contemporary instrumental music the bass world is ruled by Stanley Clarke along with Brian Bromberg and Victor Wooten. There is that second tier of bassists that are nothing more than sound alike artists hoping to catch lighting in a bottle by embracing their influence. An artist has to discover his or her own voice, their wheelhouse. Roberto Vally is a critically acclaimed bassist with a most impressive resume yet when the opportunity came to release Boom Boom Boom the expected is not the rule here but exception. This is perhaps the epitome of harmonic possibilities that up until now have gone unexplored as Vally's contemporaries still attempt to sift through the sonic sand and silt in search of that gold nugget.

Roberto Vally is an artist that embraces his roots aside from performing with Michael Franks and Spyro Gyra and having his original work performed by artists such as Bob James and Richard Elliot, Vally manages a captivating originality within this release. Boom Boom Boom is a semi autobiographical self portrait, an intimate look at the artistic DNA of one of the premier bassists of our time. While still "labeled" as smooth jazz this is not a release of the same homogenized ear candy often associated with the same dead radio format. Boom Boom Boom is meticulously constructed layers of texture covering multiple genres and the deceptively nuanced flavor that embraces a global p.o.v.

"Gypsy Dream" is a modern Hot Club riff with that smoldering Gypsy jazz groove that in the hands of a master is a beautiful thing. "Latin Lounge" is an Argentinian riff on the rhythm and groove that is Latin music. The most intriguing aspect of Latin music is one can go one hundred miles in either direction from their original point of reference and the music changes dramatically. "Bom Dia" is a bright and breezy Brazilian samba that is amped up for the more traditional audience in the United States while losing nothing in authenticity. The title track "Boom Boom Boom" is a contemporary groove you can use, layers of ambient texture well developed yet maintaining an open ended harmonic base for exploration.

Boom Boom Boom is a resounding success for a plethora of reasons. Vally's musical co-conspirator Jeff Carruthers turns in fantastic performances on guitars, keyboards and programming while sharing co-producing honors with Vally. While this is clearly a Roberto Vally joint, Vally understands he is the anchor of the ensemble. A prolific talent does not dazzle with pyrotechnics nor do they feel to take out ad space or take over a recording. This is a jazz collective in the truest sense of the word. Roberto Vally clearly articulates that his skills are equally adept at either the acoustic or electric bass and his compositions are on par with any of his contemporaries. Nothing to grind on here, Boom Boom Boom is one of the very finest contemporary releases of the year and could surprise some as a dark horse for Grammy consideration. This is a coming out party for Roberto Vally and like a well written resume it leaves you wanting to know more!

Tracks: Jazz Trance; Gypsy Dream; Concorde; Sabata; Latin Lounge; Boom Boom Boom; After The Beach; In The Air; Big World; Bom Dia.

Personnel: Roberto Vally: Acoustic and Electric Bass, Vocals; Jeff Carruthers: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming; Tom Schuman: Keyboards (3); Paul Brown: Guitar (8); Federico Ramos: Guitar (10); Carlyle Barriteau: Guitar (6); Enrique Martinez: Accordion (2,4,5,9,10); Greg Adams: Trumpet (3); Luis Eric: Trumpet (1,6,7,8,9); Ric Keller: Flute (10); Land Richards: Drums (6); M.B. Gordy: Drums (3); Lena Parisi: French Voice (3); Thereza Ribeiro: Brazilian Voice (10).