New Jersey native Craig Schoedler is a tremendous talent on the six string bass. His first CD "By The Water" got great reviews for it's outstanding musicianship, terrific playing by super sidemen like Steve Jordan and Mike Stern, and Craig's bass playing, and his compositional skills. This time Craig goes solo and tackles two of Bach's complete suites for the cello. Electric bassists have practiced Bach cello suites for years (it helps that the suites are written in bass clef) because they are a great way to improve technique in an extremely musical way. Craig takes these particular suites, #4 in E Flat Major and # 1 in G Major, and brings out every ounce of music and soul in them. In Craig's hands, these suites are not mere exercises; they are complete pieces of music replete with dynamics, emotion, variation, and subtlety.
One very effective way that Craig coaxes out the dynamics is by using a volume pedal. Another great bassist, Anthony Jackson, also uses the volume pedal to great effect in the same way and I would venture to say that Craig was inspired by Anthony's approach. Craig's Warwick bass gets a warm, clean, sound and kudos to the recording engineer for getting just the right amount of reverb to give you the feeling of hearing the music in a concert hall. Craig has excellent technique but the technique itself is never the main focus, instead he uses his technical prowess to bring the music to life and uses it as a tool for his expression. It is obvious too that Craig has a deep level of passion for Bach's music and that he hears every note he's playing in his heart and his mind. I got the feeling that Craig had worked out all the technical kinks inherent in music this difficult and was able to really be expressive with the various movements in the suites. Recording a CD of solo bass is a daunting task and recording the music of Back even more daunting. In both ways, Craig hits the mark with this CD. Highly recommended.