Document Type

Media Review

Publication Date


Publication Title

Bass World






In the opening track for solo contrabass, Theme for Francis, Jon Hamar wastes no time establishing his strikingly warm, even, and clean tone with expressive vibrato and round attacks. Compositionally, the solo work holds up on its own with inherent rhythmic propulsion and catchy melodic lines smartly interwoven into implied harmonic structures, which hint of counterpoint and homophony. The rest of the band joins Hamar on the second track, Julia, and allows him to demonstrate more of the same expressive prowess through soulful musical interplay with pianist Dawn Clement and drummer Byron Vannoy. Julia is a crafty arrangement by Dawn Clement of a composition by John Lennon, and although the original Lennon composition would be somewhat limiting, Hamar, Clement, and Vannoy are quick to depart from Lennon's starting point and explore previously unforeseen possibilities in what otherwise would devolve into lounge music if undertaken by lesser musicians. Fly-By is a carefully orchestrated up-tempo composition performed with John Hansen on piano and Jon Wikan on drums. Hamar and Wikan relentlessly lay down a fast tempo in lockstep and allow pianist John Hansen to perform with abandon. Hamar's bass lines are both supportive and inventive and clearly provide harmonic direction.


© 2010 Jeremy C. Baguyos