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Album review: 'Master Volume'


Teymur Phell

'Master Volume'


In the mid-1970s, Jaco Pastorius revolutionized the electric bass and brought it into the spotlight. Four decades later, emerging artists like Teymur Phell continue to expand the instrument's range. On his debut album, "Master Volume," Phell plays a six-string bass with a dexterity and fluidity more often associated with that of a virtuosic lead guitarist. In fact, the album's opening track, "Zero to Sixty," recalls the finest work of Pastorius's seminal group, Weather Report.

Phell was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and spent his formative years in Israel. Since moving to New York in 2010, he's played with Randy Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, Lenny White, and others. Ten top musicians join Phell on various cuts here. Chad Lefkowitz Brown tears it up on tenor saxophone on several tunes. "Papano Kimono" is a funk fest featuring guitarist Mike Stern and drummer Dennis Chambers. Phell not only thumps and pops his way through these excellent original tracks, he plays two brief solo tunes, leaving no doubt about his prowess as a bassist, composer, and arranger.