Bassists aren't always the most extroverted members of an ensemble, so it's always intriguing to hear what they'll choose to present given the reins of leadership. German Holger Scheidt, Belgian Piet Verbist and Dane Morten Haxholm each reveal a bit of themselves in the way they handle these reins:
Antwerp-based Verbist surely falls on the 'team player' end of the bassist-as-leader personality spectrum, favoring a big round sound, eschewing solo spots more often than not and working closely with the drummer. Suite Réunion is his third CD (following two with his group Zygomatik), a fairly mainstream effort heightened by his original compositions. Like Wayne Shorter, he peppers his harmonies with piquant 'color' chords to create new contexts for the corresponding melody note(s), completely changing their character. Good examples include the title track, "Hope in Despair", "The Beauty in the Beast" and "Devious Ways". The CD also benefits from cohesive interplay within the quartet of tenor saxophonist Bart Borremans, pianist Bram Weijters (from Zygomatik) and drummer Dré Pallemaerts (or else Wim Eggermont, who cameos on two tracks).