Recommended: The Slow Beasts – “The Slow Session”


I really enjoy an album that features bass clarinet.  Not sure when my love affair with that instrument began, but tracing back its lineage is definitely going to hit upon the first time I heard Eric Dolphy add his own bass clarinet to a rendition of “India” on John Coltrane’s Village Vanguard recordings.  And while that may not have been the first spark of endearment, it definitely wasn’t the last, and, so, when I hear a bass clarinet make it’s presence known on an album I like, I’m quick to feature it on this site.

Case in point, the 2017 release The Slow Session by the quintet The Slow Beasts.  This four-track EP gives equal footing to each instrument, but the magnetic lyricism of a bass clarinet allowed to sing is something that’s gonna grab the attention no matter how equitably an ensemble intends to dish out the spotlight.  On “Subduction,” bass clarinet shows its ability to dance nimbly.  The way it spins in concert with double bass is particularly fun.  It gets more fun when sax slips into the prevailing motion.  With “Double Blind,” bass clarinet pulses in beat to the rhythm, while on “Please Talk to Me,” it’s allowed to scatter in all directions.  But it’s on opening track “How To Get Unstuck” where the bass clarinet digs deep and proffers up both heart and soul, resonating all of the love and pain endured by both.

A nifty album.  Go check it out.

Your album personnel:  Stefano Chiapello (tenor sax), Michele Anelli (double bass), Marco Tardito (bass clarinet), Nicolò Bottasso (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Nicholas Remondino (drums).

The album is Self-Produced.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Piedmont, Italy.

Available at:  Bandcamp