In the Company of Clouds
2016 / Erik Scott
Review by Kathy Parsons
In his long and illustrious career as a musician/composer/songwriter, I would venture to say that bassist Erik Scott has probably at least touched on just about every music genre there is, synthesizing them all into his unique and original style. How many albums can you name (besides Erik’s previous releases) that are centered around the electric bass - the pulse and heartbeat of so much music but rarely the lead? Scott performs on several bass guitars as well as keyboards, drum and percussion programs, some “wee vocals” and mandolin. Joined by fellow artists such as Jeff Pearce (guitar), John Pirruccello (steel guitar) and Chris Cameron (piano), Scott has created nine beautiful pieces inspired by some of the tales of King Arthur and the Isle of Avalon. In the liner notes of the album, Scott is quoted as saying: “As music mirrors the moods of its makers, it can lift and soothe the moods and minds of the listeners… and so I hope these offerings will lift some hearts, warm some souls, and smooth some edges.” I think it’s worth mentioning that Erik Scott recently triumphed over cancer and mentions that “It’s a huge wave of relief, a soul-opening pulse, when you’re given more time… time to try and make some things, good things. Granted leave to maybe make some music, granted some .. ‘breathing room.’” I, for one, am so glad!
In the Company of Clouds begins with “Nine Lives,” a gospel-tinged song-without-words that features the vocal talents of Larry Batiste, Sandy Griffith, and Bryan Dyer. Pirruccello’s steel guitar gives this song (and most of the album) a twist that makes it impossible to classify - always a good thing, I think! “Seven Veils” is mysterious and hypnotic. The slow, sensual tempo tantalizes the imagination as it casts its magical spell. “Breathing Room” features Jeff Pearce on guitar, a mega-talent in his own right. Steel guitar, bass, and light percussion as well as some keyboard effects (and some breathing sounds) blend to create a bit of ambient sorcery. The word “victory” usually brings thoughts of leaping or shouting for joy, dancing wildly, and an infinite variety of “big” images, but Scott’s piece by that name is a more personal, more internal sort of triumph - one that might reflect feelings of relief and gratitude. “Open Door” features Chris Cameron on piano as well as synth orchestration, steel guitar, and bass. Again, more ambient than melodic, darkly colorful images emerge from the slowly-swirling tempo - mysterious yet peaceful. “Waves” has a more tropical, Hawaiian flavor with gentle rhythms and warm, languid guitars that beautifully express the mesmerizing effect of watching the waves of the ocean. “The Long View” includes Rick Barnes on acoustic guitar as well as steel guitar, bass and wordless vocals - a peaceful ending to an excellent album!
Erik Scott has created another work of art with In the Company of Clouds, and I predict you’re going to be hearing a lot about this album in the coming months. Yes, Eski, I think God and Paul McCartney would both be very pleased! The album is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
October 26, 2016
Review by Kathy Parsons