April 14, 2005

Test Spin: Freekbass

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“I think it’s time for the world to see/ How we act when we are free, yeah.” Heard those lyrics before? Pretty standard really and a bad start for a funk album. In a genre that celebrates the bizarre and radical, normalcy is a curse and opening a funk album with the lyrics stated above is like shooting yourself as well as everyone in your band in the face. So begins Freekbass’s new album The Air Is Fresher Underground, and though there are some unique aspects to the album, such as the spoken word lyrics on “No Regret,” the album feels flat. I’d heard tales of this bass-master frontman Freekbass a few years ago and since then, I’ve heard him called the best bass player in the world. Having just seen Victor Wooten in concert, I can easily say that Freekbass has plenty to learn. The Freek is good, real good. He can flip, flop and play the lead bass like Les Claypool, but until he learns how to string a hook like Sly Stone or mold an extended jam like Mike Gordon, he will never enter that pantheon of classic bassists.

Archived article by Stan Feldman
Sun Staff Writer