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Press & Reviews - Pondering the Sushi CD

2001 Pondering CD review by UCLA's Daily Bruin

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Who knew that "The Star Spangled Banner" could be so funky? Bass extraordinaire Norm Stockton tastefully flaunts riffs so groovy that even Sly and the Family Stone's bassist, Larry Graham, would be proud. The album's opener "The Race" is a prime example of the spicy funk that is tastefully sprinkled throughout "Pondering the Sushi." The song has got the funky muted horn, the tight, laid-out drums, calm piano, and of course the ever-so-phat bass line. As acknowledged in the CD booklet, the track's bass line is a fitting tribute to one of the Bass world's living legends - Marcus Miller. While nearly all songs on the album are strong funk tracks. The album's highlight is Stockton's cover of "The Star Spangled Banner." Basically, the song strays little from the original and is immediately identifiable. Despite the traditional rendition, Stockton's slight nuances and extra fills, "The Star Spangled Banner" seems to feel a little bit more patriotic than most other renditions out there - much like Marvin Gaye's version of the same song did nearly 15 years ago at the NBA Finals. With "Pondering the Sushi," Stockton has given jazz afficionados something to chew on as they wonder what the bassist is going to do next.

–Antero Garcia

This page reproduced by the kind permission of The Daily Bruin.

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