With The Bass In Mind
Bassist Jeff Picker lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches bass and is currently a member of Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder. He had previously spent a number of years playing with Sarah Jarosz, Mark O’Conner and others. Picker has been playing professionally since 15 and with his blend of bluegrass, folk, and jazz, and is often in demand by artists, whether on tour, in the studio, or on stage, including the Grand Ole Opry.
This self-produced project is a collection of all-original instrumentals where he is joined in the studio by Jake Stargel (guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle), Dominick Leslie (mandolin, octave mandolin), and guest Cory Walker (banjo). All of the selections were arranged by and feature Picker on bass, but the stars of the project are the excellent playing by Stargel, Barnett, and Leslie, with Walker on two cuts. The selection arrangements cover moods from jazz to swing to bluegrass including a waltz and a lullaby.
One can wonder where song titles come from, but there is “Disturbance In The Kitchen,” “Rooster In The Tire Well,” and “Hat Creek Outfit.” Cory Walker is featured on “Chair In The Sun,” and “Ricky’s Run.” Two really pretty pieces are “Lullaby” and “Ground Delay Waltz.” The last cut is “A King’s Peace” which features Picker bowing the bass accompanied by Leslie playing the octave mandolin. Picker’s considerable skills are front and center, as he is backed by these great players.
REVIEWED BY Bill Foster