Sacred Graffiti is an eclectic yet virtuoso offering from Bay area bassist Edo Castro in which inspiration comes from daily emotive impressions including a bumper-sticker, scribbles on a wall, signs of various purpose and from these static and fixed messages, an evocative and emotive pulse is brought forth.
With all but one tune written and composed by Castro and with guests including Michael Manring, Mark Isham and Steve Erquiaga there is no questioning musical credibility and this is established from the beginning.
“A Thread Of Blue” opens with vinyl static and midi bass washes before effortlessly flowing into an urban Latin feel with Erquiaga laying down a slightly whimsical solo which is but a taste of things to come. “57th Latitude” has Castro and veteran bassist Michael Manring playing with a sense of musical cohesion that is stunning among two such gifted artists. The title track is the haunting “Sacred Graffiti” featuring Mark Isham on trumpet, a dark and at times brooding melody that is not to be dismissed easily. “Bent Blues” may showcase the lyrical virtuosity of Castro as well as any piece on Sacred Graffiti.
Well paced, thoughtful and a stellar performance that could easily flip to the more self indulgent. Instead, Sacred Graffiti is a wonderfully organic, slightly eclectic but incredibly artistic vision from a bass player that is deserving of far wider recognition. From a Latin flair to something reminiscent of later Windham Hill, Castro is making his unique musical voice heard in an otherwise commercial myriad of soulless clutter.
Perfect pacing, intriguing compositions and a stellar sound have both Edo Castro and Passion Star Records scoring big here! If this release slipped past you then take notice!
Tracks: A Thread Of Blue; The Gathering; 57th Latitude; Sneaky Pete; When The Stars Fell On You; Drifting Across The Night Sky; A Travel Lodge Moment; All In; Bent Blues; As The Cherry Blossoms Fall; ESP; No Chance In Sight; Evidence; Left Of Center; Sacred Graffiti; A Thread Of Blue (Fine).
Personnel: Al Caldwell; Michael Manring; David Friesen; Percy Jones; Mark Isham; Steve Erquiaga; Richard Gee; Chris Stafford; Mark Bernfield; Jonathan Moe; Alex Aspinall; Erik Lindquist; Dan Zinn; Chris Cardone; Ray Cooper; Dray Prayor; Savannah Jo Lack.