David Dyson

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Soulmates Review

by David R. Adler

Electric bassist David Dyson has made his mark as a sideman with Me'Shell NdegéOcello, Pieces of a Dream, and the band (which also included Bob Belden) featured on Tim Hagans' Animation - Imagination. On his solo debut, Dyson handles just about everything by himself, including bass, keyboards, drum programming, sampling, and assorted spoken word vocal spots. There are a couple of guest keyboardists and saxophonists, and John Stoddart sings well on "Spin Cycle." But Dyson's bass is the dominant presence, deployed often via overdubs as a melody and chording instrument. His tracks lean heavily toward funk, R&B, and dance beats, and this, together with the electric bass emphasis, makes Dyson's music somewhat similar to Marcus Miller's. Jazz listeners might find it a bit commercial overall, although Dyson crafts some edgy harmonic progressions, hard grooves, and intelligent songs. He and co-engineer/pianist Vince Evans also know their way around studio gear -- the recording is rich and of very high quality. Dyson's unaccompanied statement, "Lonely Daze," is an ideal closing gesture.

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