Von Boehm plays bass with stunning suppleness and dexterity, all the while maintaining that all-important bottom end…
Jon Von Boehm
9 tracks 50:16
One definition of the word ‘ortus’ is ‘sunrise.’ It would take a lot more words to describe Ortus, the new project by Nashville bassist Jon Von Boehm – words like jazz, rock, fusion, funk, etc. Actually, the music on Ortus (all of it composed by Von Boehm ) is all of these genres at once and more – raucous, rowdy, a little spacey, too – and always mixed with a healthy dose of world-class musicianship.
Von Boehm plays bass with stunning suppleness and dexterity, playing complicated lines, firing off sharp, tasty riffs, and executing melodic solos at the drop of a Stetson – all the while maintaining that all-important bottom end that the rest of the music rests on.
Ortus starts off with growling bass underpinning “Poynter Finger,” with its rhumba opening punctured by staccato rhythms and machine gun-like riffs. The funky rhythm guitar brings a jazz-funk fusion into the track preceding a strong guitar solo by the band’s impressive axe-man, John Gallo. Von Boehm’s super-nimble bass also gets a featured solo work-out, while Michael Green keeps things very interesting on drums and percussion.
Tandem guitar/bass runs are found throughout the album, dazzling displays of synchronous playing that pop up when you least expect them. Guitarist Gallo can get pretty feisty, as he does in “Vesto Red Shirt,” but the same song also features his cleanest, ‘jazziest’ solo on the recording – Von Boehm’s songs keep you on your toes that way. Green’s drumming is powerful, textured and ornamental – listen to his tight, crisp attack as well as his detailed cymbal work on “They Exist.”
If you’re in the mood for some speaker-ripping bass, try “The Speed of Dark,” where Von Boehm really tests the bottom end. Of course, his playing throughout, whether in high or low registers, reveals an uncanny knowledge of the fretboard and a scope of influences that stretch from straight jazz to metal and everything in-between. That bottom end gets deep indeed on the atmospheric space-funk of “SYGYGY.”
Fans of good instrumental jams and jazz/rock fusion in particular shouldn’t pass up Jon Von Boehm’s sophomore release. By all means visit www.jonvonboehm.com and check out Ortus and his equally-good self-titled premier recording.
- Bert Saraco
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