Adi Meyerson

Where We Stand

Adi Meyerson’s skills on acoustic bass are deep, her chops strong. Her instincts are not to show off, but to enhance the music and the talents of her colleagues. Compositions on her debut are extraordinary. The musicians recruited for Where We Stand reflect these same qualities: They’re in full command of their instruments, they improvise with fire and fidelity to the music, and they play together as one.

That pretty much sums up all one needs to know for a first listen, but replays substantiate all of this by illuminating the details.

Amid the changes of “A ‘D’ Train,” the bassist lays out for the blowing section and inserts a burst of between-the-beat descending chords, which recur in the same place within each verse. They blaze by in a microsecond, but each soloist reacts to them, maybe emphasizing a particular note or syncopation, or spinning the line in a different direction. That finesse, both in her arrangement and the musicians’ responses, pays off here, with a similar device employed on “Rice & Beans” and elsewhere.

Mentioning the breadth of Meyerson’s writing, too, is significant. Where We Stand offers several sensitively crafted ballads, including “Holes,” a beautiful, fragile bass-and-piano duet. The two vocal tracks stand out, though, for Camila Meza’s expressive and virtuosic handling of a difficult melody on “Little Firefly” and her miraculous, wordless caress of the title cut. And while all this is going on, don’t overlook Kush Abadey’s magnificent contributions—the sound of a master at work.