View (CD Review)|
By Michael Senft
The Arizona Republic
Published December 4, 2003
For 10 years, Bryan Beller has been content with providing low-end frequencies for such guitar gods as Dweezil Zappa and Steve Vai. With his solo debut, the LA bassist proves not only his chops but his composition skills as well.
Working with a host of LA session cats, including guitarist Mike Keneally and drummer Toss Panos, Beller has crafted a tasty, mostly instrumental showcase of his fretboard prowess.
From the opening solo piece, the almost New Agey "Bear Divide", through the noisy fusion workout "See You Next Tuesday", which features a searing solo from Keneally, Beller adeptly leaps from style to style. In between solo tunes, his band flirts with diverse sounds, including avant-garde and funk.
Straight-ahead rock even turns up on the unremarkable "Bite", featuring grungy vocals from Colin Keenan. Beller should have stuck to singing himself; he does a fine job on the Steely Dan-esque "Wildflower".
The album closes with the beautiful title track, a gorgeous Pat Metheny-esque dose of light fusion on which Beller expands his instrumental palette with delicate keyboard work.
A fine debut from a musician richly deserving greater notice.
© 2003, The Arizona Republic, all rights reserved.