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On the Fast Track

Gerald Veasley

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Album Review

For his fifth album as a leader (not counting the many he recorded as part of the Joe Zawinul Syndicate and as a member of Grover Washington, Jr.'s backing band), six-string bassist Gerald Veasley pushes the smooth jazz envelope a bit. Those who like their grooves gentle and their textures lush will still find plenty to like here — the rich strings on his cover of Stevie Wonder's "Do I Do," for instance, or the sweet and lovely "Goodnight Moon," written in honor of Washington. But there's a certain toughness at the center of the music this time out, and a greater willingness to let loose. The massed horns of "Kickin' 22 Express," the driving mid-tempo funk of his arrangement of the Ramsey Lewis classic "The In Crowd," the snaky and virtuosic unison lines on "You Asked for It" — all of these point to someone who is not ultimately satisfied with just creating pleasantly swinging background music. More power to him.

Biography

Born: 28 July 1955 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Gerald Veasley is an excellent bassist who has played his share of commercial music but definitely has the chops needed for more improvisatory settings. Veasley was exposed to gospel and R&B as a child and went on to play in various R&B bands in West Philly as a teenager in the late '60s and 1970s. Along the way, he discovered jazz and came to appreciate Weather Report and Return to Forever as much as he appreciated Earth, Wind & Fire and Smokey Robinson....
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On the Fast Track, Gerald Veasley
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