Jonas Hellborg: Wounded Knee
Jonas Hellborg (Wechter acoustic bass)
The Silent Life (Day Eight Music DEMCD 026)
Jonas Hellborg (Wechter acoustic bass).
Composed by Jonas Hellborg.
Recorded: New York, 1990
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
The Silent Life was another solo bass effort from Jonas Hellborg. This time out he played the Wechter acoustic bass guitar made by master luthier Abraham Wechter. These solo bass excursions are about being the melody, bassline and rhythm simultaneously. At least that is how Hellborg tends to approach his projects. On "Wounded Knee," his most impressive chops are presented in the guise of the tune's rhythms. This requires Hellborg to slap his bass very fast and violently. The instrument's acoustic nature limits its reverb capability, so Hellborg is quite literally forced to keep as much contact with the strings as allowed by the laws of physics. His slapping technique forces the strings to recoil and bounce his fingers off in an equal and opposite direction. Concurrently with his timekeeping, he plays chords that serve as the melody. Hellborg is a true bass chord innovator. There are few players capable of mastering chords on the bass as he has. When all is said and done, "Wounded Knee" is more about displaying the phenomenal technique that Hellborg has honed over the years than some great melodic statement. He focuses on melody plenty of times elsewhere on the CD. On "Wounded Knee," he just dares anyone else to play the bass better.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky