Manuel Muzzu is a lifelong musician, falling in love with the bass guitar at the age of only twelve. The Italian musician and composer has let nothing hold him back from following his dreams. At the age of six, he was left with a handicap in his right hand following a medical procedure. The result is that Muzzu has had to work twice as hard as your average bass player to overcome this challenge and develop his own playing technique to suit his ability. But in listening to 3-Ree, you’d truly never know it.
Muzzu has studied his craft formally, graduating from Musicians Institute in Los Angeles in 1994 and UM Rome in 1997. He’s explored a multitude of genres over his career including rock, soul, latin, jazz, and ethnic music. This latest effort – 3-Ree – is a masterful collection of funky, soulful, bass-forward modern jazz music that’s truly an easy-listening treat.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
The album opens with Give a Fu(n)k, and lives up to its name in its entirety, featuring an expertly executed slap bass line at the forefront of the track. It’s a fantastic modern jazz / funk fusion track that builds and develops over multiple sections and has an authentically improvised feel.
Giant Step is a foray into much more experimental electronic sounds and synths. Vaguely reminiscent of classic video game music, each section of the track is distinctly different from the next, but the underlying electronic production allows the track to maintain a cohesive feel.
And then A Place to Be brings us back down on the other side, a smooth, slow number that deftly leaves spaces for each passing melodic phrase to breathe. The mournful brass instrumentation that’s featured across this track is nearly hypnotic. It highlights Muzzu’s range as a composer and acknowledges his understanding of the importance of restraint.
Soca Suca highlights some serious percussive fills and perhaps is a nod to some of the ethnic and Latin influences that Muzzu has mentioned previously. Between the effortlessly smooth guitar solo and inclusion of the synthesizers, this upbeat, rhythmic track feels like the definition of modern jazz as written by Muzzu.
Closing the album is Just a Lullaby, another tastefully slow and melodic track. It’s the perfect ending to this album – delicate, nuanced, and relaxed. The bass is truly the star here, serenading us softly over an airy piano. The addition of the strings as the song progresses is a wonderful inclusion. It’s soothing and ethereal, and a truly enjoyable closing to what has been an equally enjoyable album
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
Stay Right to the Bottom brings back the fun and funky energy with a full horn section, front and center bass leads, and some serious dynamic range. This track truly keeps you guessing as to where it might be going, but it’s a welcome aspect of the composition. Impossible to predict, each section is a new feast for the ears – truly, each section almost feels like a complete track in its own right. Yet somehow – another nod to Muzzu’s impressive composing skills – each of these unique sections blends together seamlessly to create this masterpiece.
A great energy level across the board, but smooth where it counts. Fantastic production and expert composition that will make this album a treat for both the seasoned and novice jazz lover alike. Fantastic musicianship and timeless qualities abound in this album. Manuel Muzzu has a fantastic handle on his genre and 3-Ree is everything you could want out of a modern jazz record.
BELOW: Listen to 3-Ree and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Manuel Muzzu by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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