What the papers say
This album (Moo Moo Pooh) reveals that as well as taking on the role of a professional side man, Ed likes to indulge in some serious solo bass work that reveals a whole range of musical influences. Jaco Pastorius is clearly one of them, as the opening track "moo moo pooh" reveals. Essentially a drums plus bass piece, it has a clear "Teen Town" feel right down to the occasional background synth fills. Superbly performed and with clean intonation it's clearly a showcase piece for Ed and shows his love for all things Weather Report related. "Slammin" changes the mood completely, with a slap bass groove and melody in the Marcus Miller vein. Little fills, such as tapped bends, are tastefully executed and it’s clear that the bassist can slip into any role demanded by the tune. More Jaco influence, in the slower, melodic ballad style, is apparent in "Anovah" (yep, there's a clue in there somewhere). Ed obviously has a sense of humour and likes his musical puns. The track "R swipe" is a 16th note, low B driven, fusion style groove, where Ed uses his Zon Sonus 5-string to great effect. As well as the Zon, the bassist makes great use of a Wal fretless and a Fender Jazz Bass on a number of tracks. Moo moo's strength is in its diversity - I really felt that I had a compilation of the world's greatest bass players on my stereo. "Grace" for example, sounds like Marcus Miller jamming with Gary Willis in a laid-back swing shuffle, and let's face it, you're probably not going to hear that too often! The variety of moods and feels on the album is neatly illustrated by "Loc da kaz bar", which as the title suggests, conjures up images of deserts and dunes with fretless bass weaving in and out of an Eastern melody. A tastefully slapped solo somehow fits neatly into the tune during the middle eight. Like many bass player albums, Ed plays all the instruments himself (there are no vocal tracks), with just the odd guest appearance for guitar or keyboard duties. "Moo moo" has 14 tracks on it, none of which feel like a filler or an afterthought, which is always an achievment on any instrumental album. Overall, a great album showing what an incredibly versatile player Ed Poole is.