Pino Palladino and Blake Mills Album, “Notes With Attachments,” Now Available
Pino Palladino’s highly-anticipated album with producer and multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills is now available on multiple platforms. Notes With Attachments marks the bass legend’s debut as a co-leader, though the record was originally conceived as a solo effort.
“It all evolved from me playing Blake a few ideas, getting a reaction from [him] and seeing if he’d be interested in working on [them],” he said. “As the project evolved in the first few weeks and months—even though the music was mostly coming from my original ideas, some of which I’d had for quite a while—[because of] Blake’s response to the ideas, it dawned on both of us that it would be a collaborative record.”
Palladino has laid the foundation for numerous influential records, from Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun to Adele’s 21, not to mention his work with The Who, Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Young, and more. On Notes With Attachments, it’s easy to hear how the bassist’s sonic signature helped shaped all his previous work, but this album is truer to his own influences. Each song is a masterpiece of groove with shifting textures over mostly static harmonies.
If you’re already a fan of Palladino, this album will likely only further cement your fandom, although it is less conventional than the rest of his catalog. It favors the off-kilter beats of his work on D’Angelo’s Voodoo more than John Mayer’s Continuum as he draws more from soul and R&B with heavy vibes from Afrobeat and Cuban music.
“Ekuté” began as a jam with drummer and longtime collaborator Chris Dave, who shares the bassist’s love of Fela Kuti’s music. “It just came from a one-chord jam that I liked the feel of,” Palladino explains. “The next thing we did on it was in New York, with Ben Kane, an engineer friend of mine who worked on some of D’Angelo’s stuff. We had Marcus Strickland come in, who had the idea for that multitracked bass-clarinet horn section.”
The song was also the first that Palladino sent to Mills.
“It was eye-opening to hear something that was repetitive, but still had so many different [directions] that it went in,” says Mills. “It was kind of a revelation, to work on a song in those terms.”
His famed fretless StingRay appears throughout the album to wash you with sound on the title track and bend your ear on “Man From Molise.” His unmistakable phrasing and note choices make this yet another piece of his work that bass players will be studying for years. This is surely one of the “must-have” bass albums of the year.
Notes With Attachments Track List:
- Just Wrong
- Notes With Attachments
- Chris Dave
- Man From Molise
- Off The Cuff