Tyrone Brown a distinguished double bassist and part of the Funkiest Band You’ve Never Heard of!
Archive for January, 2012
Ed Neumeister is a gifted trombone player. He has played in symphonies and big band orchestras. He also had a chance to play with Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, Merl Saunders and Ron Stallings who made up the gut-bucket of San Francisco. He also played strip-clubs with Mark Levine in the Tenderloin late seventies. What a career that will never stop.
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When you run into people who are cosmic it is equally wonderful and gut-wrenching. Cosmic Individuals tend to be primal, jaded and unconfined, not privy to the domestic social mores of our time. Still, that irresolute quality, the stubborn willingness to put themselves in suspension gives credibility to their endeavors.
Such is the case with the band called GSol. I first came about this contingent when I met Neil Antonio Diamente at our kids’ school. We started talking about Grant Green and then he passed me a couple of stories about eating purple caps in graveyards. Pretty soon I was hanging over at the Rabbit Ranch for hours at a time. It is like a utopia, what with the ancient engine wall that still borders the backyard, a wooden seal and horse head protruding above the cobblestone. Throw in the table tennis and Fela tracks plus some greens and I even started to dream.
Neil’s dream is to change social consciousness through doing. In this case “doing” music with his soul brother, Alex Circiello. They make up the bass and rhythm guitar section of GSol. At this for over a decade they have been tested many times in many different arenas. Throw in the demands of modern life and the sense of urgency is palpable. Still these cosmics are cut from a different mold. They are human; they have and will experience the feelings of love, hate, hope and despair that GSol can render. However, they are also privy to the belief in the unknown. If you pursue something with no intention, but instead being open to the possibility of the unknown what you have is the faith construct.
For the first year or so I hung around GSol their sound continued to get tighter. Neil has been at the electric bass for over ten years and has only recently started playing in a similar vein to Wilton Felder and Chuck Rainey—a funky, pulsating beat that has Afro-overtones. Alex was playing a slapping rhythm with hands the size of ham hocks. Still, his message was muddled and their sound might have gotten tighter, but it wasn’t expansive. That was until the faith construct was revealed.
Last May 2011, GSol was playing at Sky Bar in Tucson, a local metro-sexual joint if one such exists in the desert. It is not the place you would envision for this band of gypsies. They are warming up with saxophonist Brendan Rush. From a side table a hulk of a man is lurking, seething about his current existence and ready to find a place to chop wood. His girlfriend is frantically looking for a place to appease the writhing giant. Suddenly, “El Gigante” hears the jazzy warm-up. After a brief exchange with Diamente, he gets his hand drums. The congas have been the missing percussive element, the Afro-Cuban bump to help accentuate the clave.
The congas are being played by Miguel Bazemore, a conguero from the early 1970s. After returning from two tours in Vietnam, he settled in San Diego and eventually began playing with the likes of Mongo Santamaria, Roy Ayers and The Gap Band. Miguel plays the drums on the slide. Angular hits allow the elasticity of the music to show. He came to swing the band. He played during a time when you cut your teeth “doing it” not talking about doing it. Gut and emotions were tantamount to good music. Listening back to recent live GSol recordings Miguel will offer the occasional vocal thrust and encouragement to other soloists, like the Bulgarian finger-picker, Anton Shekerjiev, or psychedelic Rhodes keyboardist, Collin Shook.
It’s hard to see where you’re going when there is no discernable trail. Cosmic individuals like the ones in GSol don’t consider this a problem, but an opportunity to forge a new path. Clear growth with machetes and build a bridge to new sounds. The more they play, the greater the output. The more they dream, the greater the fantasy. This could really only happen at the Rabbit Ranch. I’m glad it’s part of me.