Piet Verbist: Zygomatik

Veteran Belgian bassist-composer Piet Verbist expertly blends bop, rock and funk feels on his debut as a leader. With huge upright tone, he lays down a heavy groove on the imposing opener, “PMS Alert,” underscored by drummer Herman Pardon’s muscular backbeat and Bram Weijters’ slightly distorted Fender Rhodes. Tenor saxophonist Matt Renzi and baritone saxophonist Vincent Brijs create a telepathic dialogue on “Above & Beyond,” before Verbist gets down with a wah-wah-imbued upright solo on the funky “Cut the Crab,” which also finds Fred Delplanco nearly walking the bar with his earthy tenor sax solo. Verbist’s extended solo bass intro kicks off the moody “The Pale Blue Dot,” and the crew swings with purpose on the kinetic 5/4 vehicle “La Filosofia Del Jamón” and the straightahead closer “Zygomaticus Major.”