Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ray Riendeau - 2000 "Groove Therapy"

Ray Riendeau - Groove therapy

With the release of bass phenom Ray Riendeau's 1998 solo endeavor, All Funked Up, Riendeau set the standard in solo electric bass technique for the 21st century. In October of 2000, as the follow-up to his independently released benchmark recording, Riendeau offered listeners another glimpse at his impeccable skills with his second set of jaw-dropping tunes on Groove Therapy. Within the past couple years Riendeau has quickly become a prominent force in the bass community. Some of you may recognize Riendeau for his work as a touring sideman while others of you may have caught his solo performances as a clinician for Fender Musical Instruments. However, one thing is for sure. If you have not had the opportunity to see Riendeau in either of these capacities, you'll definitely want to check out Groove Therapy. On Groove Therapy you'll hear Riendeau take the art of solo bass performance to all new heights of achievement. It consists of ten Riendeau original compositions and two nicely orchestrated arrangements of Sly Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay" and the Elton John classic, "Benny and the Jets." For those of you looking for the true definition of the phrase, "rhythm section," look no further. This latest solo venture from Riendeau consists of 90% bass and drums and features some of the deadliest thumb work ever put to tape. On Groove Therapy Riendeau employs every solo electric bass technique conceivable and then some. Yet at the same time, Riendeau is able to accomplish this expression of true bass art without compromising the integrity of his main objective of blending all these techniques into a uniform and well produced composition. You'll most definitely hear Riendeau break from the standards of the traditional and conventional art of slapping with what has become his trademark signature style of immaculately clean linear double thumbing and double plucking chops. Alongside the skillful percussion work of Joe Morris, Riendeau kicks off Groove Therapy with a furious opening lick to the multi-bass voicings of the title track. Backed by Riendeau's slinky slapped bass tones, the Rippington's Kim Stone, an accomplished solo artist in his own, makes a special guest appearance as the lead bass voice on "Lotus Sutra." Riendeau shifts gears to a trio format of bass, drums, and keys for the next piece, "Cluster Funk", and interjects a small sampling of finger style funk material in between. Next, Riendeau presents his nicely arranged cover of Sly Stone's "If You Want Me To Stay" which consists of bass and drum loops performed by Riendeau along with a fantastic wha solo. From a technical perspective, "Unequilibrium" is simply extraordinary, definitely not for the timid! This is without a doubt the most adventurous composition on the entire recording. On "Prozac" Riendeau calls upon bassist Gary Gillespie to hold down the low end as Ray solos over the form on piccolo wha bass. Then, Riendeau offers another couple original compositions including the tight feels of "Gummo" and "Disturbing Behavior" before covering Elton John's classic hit tune, "Benny and the Jets." Riendeau's bass orchestration of "Benny and the Jets" is for sure one of the hippest arrangements of a cover tune using multiple bass tracks that I've ever heard. Likewise, all I can say is stand back and be prepared for Riendeau to get even more daring with the odd time feel of "Deranged" and the tribal trio sounds of "Species." Finally, Riendeau concludes Groove Therapy just as it began with more tight interplay between bass and drums on the phat beats of "Stretch." Bottom Line: With the release of Groove Therapy Ray Riendeau has again further advanced the state of bass to a higher level of achievement and brought a deeper respect to the art of solo electric bass.

1 Groove Therapy
2 Lotus Sutra
3 Cluster Funk
4 If You Want Me to Stay
5 Unequilibrium
6 Prozac
7 Gummo
8 Disturbing Behavior
9 Benny & the Jets
10 Deranged
11 Species
12 Stretch


  1. Looks interesting, thank you.

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