Saturn Return - Reviews
"Zander is a remarkable solo bassist, incorporating piccolo strings, alternate tunings and effects with unique compositions and arrangements. And while his technical ability is undeniable, his musicianship comes through loud and clear.” - Corey Brown, No Treble
"This incredible new recording contains nine new compositions from Zander, all highlighting his mastery of the solo bass guitar genre.” - Stuart Clayton, Bassline Publishing
"Very sensitive music, as expected. This guy is a real genius on soprano bass.” - Gregor Fris, BassTheWorld
"Stunning! Sounds beautiful..." - Nick Wells, iBassMagazine
"Zander is recognized as one of the most notable contemporary solo bassists who continues to explore new sonorities through altered tunings and expand the repertoire of solo bass music." - Cliff Engel, International Institute of Bassists
"His music shows a great a attention to detail, subtlety and musical phrasing, and his impressive technique always serves the song rather than being a showcase in itself." - Rob Martino, Chapman Stick Artist & Wave Arts engineer
"Saturn Return is full bodied, rich, well rounded bass. Real tunes. It’s not just aimless sampling or study. Each piece means something in the bigger picture... (It is) a deeply moving, emotional album. Very satisfying to the heart - highly recommended." - Elmeaux, Thunder Row
"After 'Sonorous', this young bassist from London with the pseudonym referring to his endorser releases his second solo album, expanding on his established concept of adding interesting adapations of classical or popular tunes to his own ones.
As one of the few Youtube phenomena with actual substance, Zander has cultivated a distinct tapping technique alongside regular experimentation with altered tunings, the latter providing him with an expanded palette of overtones. Without these, a track like 'Chimes', for example, would hardly be possible in its lushness. The fretted instrument ('A Whisper In Time' apparently draws from a fretless effect) by manufacturer Zon sounds rather high-end, yet Zander makes it seem warm and may be well able to make himself heard, but above all draws from gentle playing.
In terms of songwriting, 'Saturn Return' is an outstanding album, particularly as far as harmonies are concerned: 'October Starlight' or the aptly titled 'Heartbeat Lyrics' are just as deep from a compositional point of view as Johann Pachelbel's 'Canon in D'. In general, it takes Zander four to five minutes to get his emotions across with a capability to write both "songy" and more meandering, even expressionistic tracks such as 'Elements', which could almost have been performed on a harp, or 'Music Box' with its touching piano arrangement.
In conclusion, Zander Zon as a one man show can evoke moods just as well as he may shine with his chops. However, these are indeed only tools - as they should be for any serious musician striving for timeless material. 'Saturn Return' is not only recommended for bass players, but a real treat to friends of melancholic, acoustically tinged music in general."
- Andreas Schiffmann, Musikreviews.de
Thunder Row Full review: http://www.thunderrow.com/content.php?1952-Zander-Zon-And-Saturn-Return
Sonorous - Reviews
"Zander Zon's music has an aching beauty at times. He uses altered tunings (a different one on each track), guitar-like finger-picking techniques and a predominance of harmonics to create an individual style. Classical influences like Bach and Pachelbel are clearly apparent in his writing and playing, but he has a sound and style of his own." - Phil Wain, columnist for No Treble.
"Completely unaccompanied, Zander Zon showcases his mastery of the piccolo bass and a range of altered tunings on this superb recording. 'Sonorous' is a rare treat in the world of solo bass guitar performance: a solo bass album that can be enjoyed by everyone, not just bass players!" - Stuart Clayton, columnist for Bass Guitar Magazine and owner of Bassline Publishing
"Cinematic melodies and expressive landscapes..." - Cliff Engel, creator of the International Institute of Bassists.
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