Review by Brad Walseth
Young bassist Tim Seisser is an unbelievably talented musician and composer whose first release is the appropriately titled "Wire & Wood." Starting off with an inspired world music duet with tabla player Inderjeet Sidhu and Seisser on electric bass, I was reminded a bit of some of Mark Egan's work. He next presents a wonderful full band composition called "Holes in My Soles" with Chicago fave Mark Colby, along with the rising star Chris Madsen on tenor saxophones. Solid player Justyn Lawrence handles the drums, while the always-exciting Matt Nelson (one of my favorite young up and coming Chicago keyboardists) is on the keys. An exciting arrangement filled with excellent solos, this is followed by the lovely "Speak" which features Seisser's exceptional solo opening, tasty sax from Madsen and delicious guitar work by the gifted Steve Ramsdell.
A very cool Latin version of Coltrane's "Countdown" isn't the only nod to the master, as Seisser also covers "After the Rain." Meanwhile "Tracks" again adds Colby and gives Madsen a chance to shine on flute. Nelson's electric piano work is sheer ear candy here, but that's no surprise. Seisser's influences come through in his bubbly, chiming lines and reveal themselves as players like Jaco, Victor Wooten and Michael Manring. And although he is an exceptional technician, it is a testament to Seisser's musical character that he doesn't overplay or hog the spotlight, but instead plays with his head and ears in the music. His chordal sweeps, harmonics and rubbery slides are creamy good and his clever, and quick-thinking playing (check his insertion of a snippet of "If I Only Had Brain" into his solo on "Tracks") indicate that this is a player of note who has a great future ahead of him.
"Blue Island Blues," like the aforementioned "Holes in My Soles" offers Seisser on acoustic bass and he shows that he loves to swing hard on the traditional instrument as well. Matt Nelson again solos like his fingers are on fire, while Lawrence's energetic drumming provides pulse and a rewarding solo. Seisser shows some Dave Holland and/or Scott LaFaro influence in his acoustic bent.
Just when you think he can't show you anything new, Seisser pulls out the solo "Theme For Jane Doe" in which you will swear the bassist was born with extra fingers. Flamenco guitarists would be proud to play so fast and clean, and he is doing it on a bass. "Waltz (Untitled)" brings Ramsdell back and again features Madsen on flute, while Lawrence distinguishes himself with his brushwork. Besides being an exceptional player and composer, it is clear Seisser is a great judge of sidemen.
"Step One" again includes Sidhu on the tabla, with Nelson's shimmering electric piano and Seisser's delectable bass craftsmanship memorable. Next the romantic "After the Rain," where Colby solos like a reincarnated Stan Getz over this beautiful piece, while Nelson again provides just the right touch on acoustic piano. Seisser again brings some LaFaro-like melodicism to an active bass undercurrent on this Latin flavored version of the Coltrane piece. "Forecast ends the album and is another incredible chiming solo electric piece. A great introduction to a fabulous young bassist and a great way to "while away the hours," "Wire & Wood" succeeds through and through.