I saw Steve Adelson in July playing the stick in Audionova’s booth at the Summer Namm. I found him quite impressive. I saw him again at NAMM’s All Star Guitar Night. Again, highly impressive.
Steve is a very nice guy, a lot of fun and very funny too. If you like the Chapman stick, you certainly know of Tony Levin. Levin is a bass player who started to play the stick, while Adelson is a guitarist who started playing the stick, hence they have two very different approaches to the instrument.
Levin plays it in a more “bass” fashion while Adelson approaches it in a more “guitar” fashion. I won’t venture into the territory of which of the two is the best; as I said, they have two very different approaches to the instrument. And why compare anyway? On this album there is a track called Woodstick Suite on which both Adelson and Levin play together. A pure delight!
Throughout this very jazzy album, Steve is accompanied by various musicians playing drums, percussion, vibraphone, steel pans and piano. The main instrument is the stick and that’s most of what you hear.
Overall this is a great album from start to finish. It moves, it grooves, it never lets up. The instruments are quite well arranged to create a very original sound. And Steve’s playing is just awesome throughout!
Of course, the aforementioned Woodstick Suite is as impressive as it gets. Probably the top two stick players going at it from their individual directions is fabulous. The album is worth getting if only for this track. Then again, why miss out on all the others? This should definitely be in everyone’s collection.