If you have never heard of Jon Reshard he is a phenomenally talented bass player who I discovered listening to Greg Howe’s “Sound Proof” album. If you haven’t heard that album, buy it, Greg Howe is one of the most incredible rock/fusion guitarists ever and can shred while maintaining melody and interest in ways most people can only dream about. It makes sense then that Greg would choose to work with someone like Jon Reshard who really is the Greg Howe of the bass world. Jon has also enlisted jazz drumming legend Dave Weckl to tap the skins one of my favourite drummers, I saw him years ago with Chick Corea and remember being blown away by his energy and impeccable timing no matter how complicated his playing. Weckl, like Reshard has a talent of playing tight rhythms with embellishments that would make most musicians yelp and yet it sounds so effortless. By the way look at that album cover again, is that a Whammy bar on Jon’s Bass?!
There are tracks on the album that could actually be a track lifted straight from “Sound Proof” such as the opening track “Number One” which features some outstanding guitar playing from Greg Howe but this is Jon Reshards’ album so of course there is a generous helping of bass soloing and it makes you stop and listen because the range of notes (must be a 5 or 6 string bass?) and speed make it sound like a guitar with tapping and sliding that most guitar players can only dream of doing. Also the track “Tesla” which also includes some pretty impressive keyboard soloing as well as guitar, bass and drumming. “Save It” is another track that features chunky rhythms and unmistakeable melodies and solos from Greg Howe before being led into a funky breakdown and blistering bass solo.
The track “She’s Always a Woman” is a bass solo arrangement of the Billy Joel song from the album “The Stranger” released in 1977 and demonstrates Jon’s virtuosic control of his instrument as well as his fantastic arrangement skills, it reminds me of Tommy Emmanuel… but on a bass.
There are a couple of tracks that I consider to be the Chick Corea style Fusion Jazz, “Chasing the Sun” with its Latin influence and vocals and Bass flurries that are almost Flamenco. Also “Hyde” which has a lot of space for the various elements to breathe and yet has moments when everyone is together and sounds very full, one of the most dynamic tracks on the album. It also has a melody where I could never remember all the notes without sheet music.
For more info check out Jon Reshard’s MySpace page which has a link to the iTunes store if you are interested in buying or previewing it.