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"equilibre": Highly Recommended

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by maxvalentino, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I don't wish it to sound as though I am passing out "Manring-praise" (or is that "Manthing-praise"?) this week, but I really must commend you on the album "equilibre" you recorded with David Cullen.

    My copy just arrived today...wow what a week: two new Manring cds!....and I must say that it is one of the finest recorded examples of guitar and bass interplay I have ever heard. From what I read it appears you two were mostly just "jamming" upon the tunes, and the sense of fun is clearly evident.
    What is absolutely amazing is how deftly both you and Mr. Cullen engage in a musical dialogue, often one of you finishing the others' phrase; at times it is hard to distinguish the gtr line from the bass line, and both of you continually add both melodic and harmonic (not to mention the fabulous rhythm changes) invention without one moment sounding forced, or show-offy.

    Not since the first Hot Tuna album I have heard such interplay!

    I strongly recommend any who read this post to get a copy. The recording has all the hallmarks of great music: technically challenging, while remaining accessible and engaging, an admirable level of virtuosity, well concieved and provocative tunes, an over-all feel of "fun" with some amazing "conversations" between the players...and the simple and direct recording technique of just rolling as two great musicians enjoy each other's company (sans any electronic gimmickry, or pro-tools audio first aid).
    And for the Manring fans....it illustrates not only Michael's obvious playing talents but his sensitvity to the song; his supporting parts to David Cullen's acoustic guitar are amazing, nearly telepathic, and are fantastic studies to show how bassists can both be challenging and supportive and the same time.

    Great disc, Michael...geez, that's two Great new discs from you! BTW, thanks so much for the kind compliments...that means a great deal.

  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    funny you should mention this CD now, Max, as it's been part of my in-car listening for the Level 42 tour - and highly inspiring it is too! A marvellous record, that sounds like it was a heck of a lot of fun to do! Certainly comes very highly recommended from me... I wasn't familiar with David Cullen's playing at all before this CD, but he's rather good! :)

    Yet more evidence of your remarkable diversity Michael, you're an inspiration, as always...


  3. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've had it for about a month now, and I think it's great. Sounds like it was a lot of fun to play.

    I expected good things from the duets after all of the Michael Hedges :)( ) stuff that I heard, and saw over the years. You and Michael created some of the most magical music and interplay I've ever witnessed. This album made me miss him.

    That said, David Cullen has a very nice voice on guitar, and is great in both leading and following the music. I particularly like the remake of "Gizmo." While I still like the original, this version is much more organic. I really like the way the nylon string guitar sounds with the Zons, too. You r bass sounds great, and almost sounds like a really growly upright on "A Forgotten Wish."--another great tune. Were many altered tunings used, or was it pretty standard?

    I'm lucky enough now to be playing with some truly great musicians, and know how much fun it can be to play off each other. I think you and David brought out the best in each other, and would love to hear further collaborations.
  4. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Thanks so much, guys! It was a pleasure making Equilibre and David is a great musician. We were taking a risk, because we had only two days to record and mix, but I think it came out OK. Fortunately we got to play a few gigs to try out the material before we went in to record, but we were changing arrangements right up to (and sometimes after!) the red button got pressed. I don't think I used any altered tunings on the record except for maybe drop D, but I did get a pretty good amount of use out of my low string Hipshot to drop down to B. All in all it was tons of fun and Dave and I are hoping we get the chance to do another -- maybe with a drummer this time.

    Thanks again for all your very kind comments!

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