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Low Blow


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Audio CD, September 28, 1999
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lightyear
  • ASIN: B00001SICG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,464 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lowblow
2. Sweet Tooth
3. City Living
4. Do You Know Who/Continuum
5. Knee-Jerk Reaction
6. She Left Me
7. Grahan Cracker
8. Babytalk
9. Feels Like A Hug
10. Brain Teaser

Editorial Reviews

Review

Remember way back in 1981, when skinny, Berklee-trained chopsmeister Victor Bailey took on the unenviable task of following the mighty Jaco Pastorius into Weather Report? The Philly-born musician - deeply influenced by Jaco, Stanley Clarke, and funk master Larry Graham - duly played like a mofo rising. Too bad Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul shifted into cruise control for the fusion band's final four records.

Nearly two decades later, and after countless mundane big-money gigs (i.e., Madonna, Mary J. Blige, the smooth-jazz brigade), the bassist gets his biggest artistic boost from the still effervescent spirit of Jaco, who died in 1987. Case in point: "Do You Know Who/Continuum," the soulful, haunting centerpiece of Bailey's first solo album since 1989's Bottom's Up. Bailey transcribed this Pastorius tune at age 16 and here retrofits its curious zigs and zags with lyrics that handily convey the impact of his early encounter with Jaco. "I've got to admit I was blown away / by the sound of his heart," Bailey sings, above his own four-string and overdubbed keyboards and the drumming of former Weather Report cohort Omar Hakim. "And it tore me apart / yet it gave me a brand-new start." It's a risky move that results in one of the smartest, sweetest, most moving of all tributes to the fallen genius.

Jaco also lurks in the grooves and moves of the title track, a chattering piece of fretboard frenzy, with Hakim and guitarist Wayne Krantz, that might have been inspired by "Teen Town." "Graham Cracker," a slap-and-tickle salute to the Graham Central Station dynamo, benefits from Kenny Garrett's righteous soprano sax. And "Baby Talk," a leisurely ballad, has the leader taking a straightahead stroll with drummer Dennis Chambers and pianist Jim Beard. Bailey, on the slow-funk turn "Feels Like a Hug" and practically everywhere else, blows like you knew he could and you hoped he would.

--Philip Booth, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Horace Morris on February 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
After a ten year wait, Victor Bailey, bassist for the post-Jaco Weather Report and Zawinul Syndicate, is back with his second solo effort, "Low Blow."
Bailey isn't doing anything unique, laying down funky background grooves or extended soloing, it's his fluidity switching between the two styles that exudes an almost matchless confidence and virtuosity.
"Low Blow" is also a showcase for drummers Omar Hakim and Dennis Chambers. Hakim's flowing drum technique and precise cymbal work are evident on the title track, and "Sweet Tooth."
Chambers exhibits a relentless attack on what amounts to a 5:00 drum solo on "Brain Teaser." Hakim and Chambers remind me of two drummers who ruled Jazz/Fusion during its glory days in the seventies, Lenny White and Billy Cobham.
Hakim's style complements Bailey as he finds the pocket with a funky groove, Chambers' style fits Bailey when he takes off on an aggressive solo.
Bailey also pays tribute to two of his heroes, Jaco Pastorius and Larry Graham, with the tracks "Continuum" (lyrics and vocals by Bailey) and "Graham Cracker."
Bailey's debut album, "Bottoms Up", is also worth a listen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve B. on May 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm getting back into playing bass after many years and I've been listening to lots of CD's featuring bass players. This one is one of the best. Great groove playing, with an excellent band. Also the bass is up front in the mix without being overbearing so it makes listening to and stealing Victor's lines easy. This CD belongs in every bass player collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Jackson on February 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I more or less agree with alot of the previous reviews.

The music is ok, the musicianship is incredible.

First 3 tunes are excellent. Omar's drum solo on song 2 is incredible. He is one of the "cleanest" drummers out there. Song 3 is probably my favorite. The outro solo by Wayne Krantz is very tasty. Most of Krantz' material floating around out there is crazy over-the-top fusion with not much melody, so it's super cool to hear him jam over something a little more ear-friendly. He would just tear it up in a funk band.

Then the album goes downhill, WAY downhill. The Jaco song is just horrible. Very smooith jazz. The tunes are pretty much lackluster from then until the scorching finale.

The fusiony Latin tune has great bass solo, great guitar riffing and then Dennis doing what only he can do.

To reiterate what a previous review said, if you're a musician you'll probably love this album (at least half of it), otherwise probably not.

Victor, how's about a funk band with you, Omar, Wayne Krantz and Herbie? Just an idea...one that I'd love to see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Victor Bailey is still one of the most inspiring players I have heard. His dedication to his instrument is second to none. His bass playing is awesome on this album proving that 4 string bass players are still viable in this 6 string world. It is great to hear a bass album that does not lose sight of the bass. Any album that features Victor and Dennis Chambers is worth the time. Thank You Victor. It is so good to hear from you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guillaume Reocreux on November 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
While I think he lacks the compositional skills of some of the people he has performed with, his playing is really impressive and his music goes further than just 'bass music'. The songs are not all equally interesting, but there is a coherence in the album who makes me hope for future improvements. One thing is sure: We want more of Victor Bailey! Here is a good way to find some good stuff of his.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By portapeeps on May 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Victor Bailey can groove behind Madonna, Urban Knights, Zawinul, etc... but I am VERY glad Zawinul picked up Richard Bona to take his place in the Zawinul Syndicate. His song writing is much more 'bass-oriented' than it is 'musical.' His version of Continuum here is embarrassing to Jaco admirers, and his writing still leaves quite a lot to be desired.
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Format: Audio CD
I would say that the music in this album isn't outstanding, but what's so good is the 2 drummers that Victor has chosen. Dennis Chambers and Omar Hakim are two of the best.

Especially Omar, he's the most fluent drummer I've ever heard. He has so much class when he get's behind the kit. On "Sweet Tooth", the fills are breathtaking. Is do think he's leagues ahead of everyone else with maybe a few exceptions (e.g. Gadd and Weckl). Though Dennis is an absolutely awesome drummer, I do think that Hakim makes him sound amateurish when it comes to just grooves been played. Omar is the master.

Though I got this album just for the drummers, I would recommend "Sweet Tooth" (sax playing is awful). "She Left Me" is a beautiful ballad. "Graham Cracker" is just funky!!

Buy this if you're a fusion fan, especially if you liked Weather report. Victor does remind me of Jaco a lot.
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Format: Audio CD
I guess nothing will top "In the Hat", but I believe both Bailey and his peer, Foley, were motivated by Miles' passing, and thus turned out tributes to Mr. Davis that were virtual anthems! I see Victor's latest effort is both mathematical, reflective, and proves that his place among the youngbloods is secure. I gotta say, he does redefine Jaco's "Continuum" in a very good way, and more importantly, gives that tune the CLARITY of thought that Jaco couldn't, and anyone who is capable of that accomplishment proves they are worthy to walk the same path (musically speaking, that is). Yes,yes,yes. Victor Bailey is the heir apparent to Jaco's throne, and this album simply reminds us of that fact, which in the end, is the bass (ha,ha!)definition of a true musician,isn't it???
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