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Long-Time Gruv Gear Artist Russell K. Shores CD Review

Reposted from Bass Musician Magazine:

Review – The Pivot By Russell K Shores

As we go through life, we sometimes meet people who give us far more than they get from us.  Such is my experience in knowing bassist Russell K Shores.  Aside from being a down-to-earth guy, Russell has an incredible work ethic that inspires me more than he’ll ever know.  If he is not teaching bass, he is studying himself, or he is performing.  He never seems to sleep!

The title refers to the journey from sorrow to joy, or from despair to happiness.  This recording delivers in giving the listener something to enjoy and be happy about.

The Pivot is a nine track CD.

It is very well produced, and the bass tone one each track is lush and opulent. Shores is a great player, and has a wonderful feel on every track.  What he does amazingly well is to bring only what the song needs, even though he clearly has a lot of “fire power” in terms of technique and speed at his disposal.  This results in a mature and focused approach on each song.

The other thing that Russell does on this project is to purposefully keep the band very small, resulting in a transparent palette of sound.  The listener hears every part and the musicians have nowhere to hide. Fortunately, the band is made up of highly skilled musicians who have no need to hide anything they play.  Best of all, this CD is oozing groove and tone.

Not all of the songs on The Pivot are original.

Trust me, that’s not a bad thing at all.  What Russell K Shores and his band do with re-arranging well known standards like Mercy Mercy or Fly Me To The Moon is to bring a new and hip perspective to these songs. They courageously and successfully take on Cissy Strut – an early funk/New Orleans feel tune by the Meters and the funky bassist George Porter Jr.

This small nucleus of a band is comprised of Russell K Shores playing 5, 6, 7 string basses as well as fretless bass.  Joel Guzman plays piano, keyboards and is responsible for the drum programming. Gabriel Guzman plays guitar on Cissy Strut.

As a bassist, Russell K Shores is incredibly accurate with the timing of his note placements.

And the cat swings like crazy!  His tone is nothing short of ridiculous (in a good way). His use of harmony is wonderful – he plays interesting note choices over the changes.  The tone? Foggetaboutit!  It is sublime!

Speaking of tone, Russell plays and endorses MTD basses, Genzler Amplification, and his basses are protected by Reunion Blues.  He also endorses products by SIT Strings, Gruv Gear, Dana B Goods, Lathon Bass Wear, and Accugroove.

You can get your own copy of The Pivot by Russell K Shores at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, or you can get a signed hard copy through Russell K Shores website.  Russell can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.


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