Ken Filiano


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It was time bassist Ken Filiano, a fixture of West Coast creative jazz and the trusty sideman of people like Vinny Golia, Paul Smoker, and Rob Blakeslee, finally tackled the neck-breaking feat that is a solo album. And he comes out of it a bigger man and musician. Subvenire, a misspelling of the French word "subvenir," to provide for (the needs of one's family, for example), is a strange, almost antinomic title: by definition, the solo album is the opposite of alimentary production, the project the artist is less likely to be willing to sacrifice his integrity over. Filiano delivers a solid hour of solo bass music, moving from creative jazz standards (Bobby Bradford's "Woman") to loose compositional structures and free improvisation. The album starts with "Water Down Stone," a mournful arco piece where Filiano saws earthshaking moans. "Relay" is a bouncier piece reminiscent of Dominic Duval's lighter side. In "Lucerne" and "Non Sequitur," the artist uses loops of prepared bass to add background textures to his soloing -- it works very well in the first track. The album closes with two highlights, a medley of Filiano's "Crucible" and the aforementioned "Woman," tenderly interpreted, plus the suitably jazzy and melodious "Dancing Shadows." There is strength of vision in Subvenire, an album that invites listeners to get up close and personal with a musician who should grab the spotlight more often.

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