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Nicholas D’Amato’s Royal Society: Nullius In Verba

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Electric bassist Nicholas D’Amato, a busy sideman with Popa Chubby, makes his leader debut in the esteemed company of guitarist Wayne Krantz. Drummer John O’Reilly completes the power-trio lineup. It’s a gritty but compact affair, with eight tracks coming in at just under 40 minutes. Three of these are short unaccompanied bass solos: “Sensus” shows off D’Amato’s fat, Fender-style sound, while “Expanded” is a fuzz-tone meditation and “Compound” involves knotty polyphony.

Krantz, who plays with his customary fire and finesse, has perhaps the most distinctive touch of any solid-body guitarist–so much so that he tends to make his sideman work sound like his own (perhaps this will also be true of Chris Potter’s forthcoming disc). D’Amato’s originals seem tailor-made for Krantz’s tart, staccato, tonally ambiguous riffing, often augmented by wah-wah and other pungent effects. Fans of Krantz’s trio sessions will find the sound of this music familiar, although D’Amato’s identity comes through in the intricate unison figures of “Sequence,” the exaggerated dynamics of “Ratio” and the lilting four-chord motif in the second half of “Extracted.”