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SEAN MALONE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Sean Malone biography
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Sean Malone American bass guitarist, born in Largo, Florida, formerly of CYNIC and currently in Gordian Knot.

Sean's work over the years has spanned enormous sonic breadth. He has played as a session member for groups ranging from Brazilian jazz to English pop. He was the recording/touring bassist for Floridian technical metal unit CYNIC during their Focus period. Sean has continued as a studio bassist, performing on over fifty records to date. Throughout all this, he has authored two books-Dictionary Of Bass Grooves and A Portrait of Jaco: The Solos Collection-for the Hal Leonard Corporation. Sean's work in the academic world; has had papers on theory and music cognition published, and given presentations at prestigious conferences such as the Society for Music Theory and The Glenn Gould Conference. He currently teaches Music Theory at the University of Oregon while he completes his Ph.D.He also assembled and record the self-titled Gordian Knot debut amidst all this activity. That record, released in 1998, saw Sean team up with luminaries like Sean Reinert (CYNIC), Trey Gunn (KING CRIMSON), Ron Jarzombek (WATCHTOWER, SPASTIC INK) and John Myung (DREAM THEATER).


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Sean Malone has been involved in recordings with Trey Gunn, OSI, CYNIC and is the musician behind Gordian Knot. His solo album, Cortlandt, is the precusor to what became Gordian Knot.

See also:

- Anomaly
- Cynic
- Gordian Knot

Sean Malone official website

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CortlandtCortlandt
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3.87 | 18 ratings
Cortlandt
1996

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SEAN MALONE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cortlandt by MALONE, SEAN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.87 | 18 ratings

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Cortlandt
Sean Malone Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by justaguy

4 stars Sean Malone is the bassist who played in an obscure metal band, "Cynic" in the beginning of the 90-s. After the disbanding of Cynic he decided to do something completely different: fusion. In 1996 he recorded Cortlandt (reissued in 2007) and after that he organized Gordian Knot, the fusion band where Bill Bruford and Steve Hackett played. Yeah, it is getting warmer now, isn't it? The collaborations of Bruford always fascinated me, and Hackett doesn't collaborate very often? Sean Malone teaches Music Theory at the University of Central Missouri now. Well, this musician is surely worth a research, let's cut this "Knot".

"Cortlandt" is an impressive fusion/jazz-rock album which is hardly comparable with anything else. Well, there is the song "The Big Idea", the only one with vocals (chorus) in it, which could be placed next to "Birdland" on the album "Heavy Weather" of Weather Report. The rest of the record is instrumental, with outstandingly played strong, complex compositions. Malone's fretless bass and stick make lots of music here, without being too dominant. Except for "Sinfonia" actually, a piece of Bach that Malone played alone, on stick. And it sounds unpredictably natural this way, as if Bach had written it for stick. The electric guitar is important on the album as well. Malone works here together with 4 different guitarists. One name you will surely recognize: Trey Gunn of the late King Crimson. He quite amazes with his beautiful solo on Warr guitar in "Big Sky Wanting". Of the other guitarists on "Cortlandt" I find Bob Bunin the most impressive. He weaves his solos through the bass solos of Malone, in a very subtle and elaborated way. Behind the drums we find the old comrade of Malone's from Cynic, Sean Reinert. Fortunately, this guy is also capable of switching styles. His drumming does not sound at all like the technical metal of Cynic. The arrangements are filled with pretty keyboards work by Malone self. The piano melody on "Fischer's Gambit" is just amazing.

This is a beautiful record. The only minus point is that the coda's are not adequately thought over. Some songs finish a little too abrupt.

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 Cortlandt by MALONE, SEAN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.87 | 18 ratings

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Cortlandt
Sean Malone Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a Sean Malone solo album (his first and only so far) and it's pretty much an all instrumental affair except for some female vocal melodies on one track. This was originally released on a label that sort of specializes in releasing albums from bass players. I have the remastered edition from the "Free Electric Sound" label with a bonus track. Malone's buddy Sean Reinert is the drummer here. I don't think Malone does anything without him. They both played in CYNIC and GORDIAN KNOT. Actually this album was released between those two projects. Sean calls it a "transition" album between the two. There certainly isn't the heaviness of CYNIC on here, it's if anything closer to GORDIAN KNOT but this is more Fusion. By the way the bonus track "Unquity Road" was originally released on the Japanese release of GORDIAN KNOT's first album.

"Controversy" settles into a jazzy mode quickly with guitar playing over top. Bass leads before 2 1/2 minutes. "Splinter" opens with drums and some powerful guitar too. A bass show before a minute as the drums pound. The guitar is back a minute later. "Fischer's Gambit" features drums, keyboards and bass early. Some laid back guitar arrives after 1 1/2 minutes. "Hand Full Of Earth" opens with percussion as drums, bass and keyboards join in quickly. It settles right down 1 1/2 minutes in with percussion and bass only. Guitar joins in as themes are repeated. Love the spacey atmosphere before 5 minutes to the end. "Sinfonia" is a Bach tune. No I don't know who he is either. My least favourite as Malone plays his stick solo on this classically themed tune. It's actually pretty cool. "Giant Steps" is a John Coltrane tune that Sean has re-arranged. Drums, guitar and bass here. It sounds so good before 1 1/2 minutes.

"At Taliesen" opens with percussion. Guitar a minute in and it sounds amazing the rest of the way. "Big Sky Wanting" has a guest appearance from Trey Gunn on his warr guitar. Percussion to start and bass leads before a minute.The guitar after 2 minutes is tasteful. This sounds really good. It turns surprisingly heavy 5 minutes in. Nice. The drumming to open "The Big Idea" sounds great. Guitar and bass join in. Just an excellent tune.The female vocal melodies are like a pale of cold water on it though. "Unquity Road" is the bonus track written by Pat Metheny (no idea who he is either) this is a powerful yet intricate track.

If your into instrumental Fusion you should check this album out.

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 Cortlandt by MALONE, SEAN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.87 | 18 ratings

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Cortlandt
Sean Malone Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Rare and almost forgoten ex -Cynic bassist the only solo album is interesting work!

Mainly fusion and metal-prog mix, it includes plenty different styles . Perfect musical technique, melodies, drive - all that you can find on that album. And other musicians are as high level professionals as Trey Gunn (stick ) and Reeves Gabrels (guit., David Bowie musician).

Bass line is almost always leading there, but the pleasant difference from other similar works is that music in total isn't only rhythm - oriented, but very melodic as well. Some classic elements, even world motives - all this is in it. Quite soft and comfortable sound in combination with very acoustic-clear recording, no "wall of sound" effect (oh,God, thank you for that!).

The album has no relations with Sean Malone work in Cynic, but could be highly recommended for jazz-rock/fusion fans and all who are interested in really progresive guitar- rock.

P.S. Album contains bonus track ( hidden), but the joke or the problem is that this track is placed somewhere 20+ minutes after the last song on CD. So, I think even many CD owners never even thought that that track egsists on that CD!

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 Cortlandt by MALONE, SEAN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.87 | 18 ratings

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Cortlandt
Sean Malone Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by dagrush

4 stars Cortlandt is a very good debut album. Surprising that this only has one review so far. Of course, that review pretty much sums it all up about this album, so maybe it is understandable. I'd say the best track is probably Giant Steps or Controversy.

I disagree with what the description for this album says: "be warned that it doesn't serve as a 'prequel' to Gordian Knot". I think it is a prequel to Gordian Knot. It's less on the metal side and more on the jazz side, but there are a lot of similarities between this debut and the other band. Fis(c)her's Gambit comes to mind to start, anyway.

Any fan of great bass playing (or rhythm sections in general) should pick this one up. I would add plain old Malone fans like myself, but then we fall into the previous groups already. Four stars.

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 Cortlandt by MALONE, SEAN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.87 | 18 ratings

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Cortlandt
Sean Malone Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by silentman

3 stars _Cortland_ is the only solo recording by bassist Sean Malone. According to his words this album consist "a lot of the bits and pieces that never made it to the setlists of the groups he played in". The line-up is pretty amazing: Sean Reinert on drums, Trey Gunn on Warr guitar, Reeves Gabrels on Guitar. Musically it's much more closer to jazz than Malone's other projects he's been involved in. Still there's very much variety. The opening track "Controversy" is a typical jazz piece, it's 16th note bass intro will amaze you. "Splinter" starts with some heavy distorted guitars but after couple of seconds it leads to a fusion exploration. "Fisher's Gambit" 7 years later found it's place on Gordian Knot's second recording. Here's the first version, more eternal sounding thanks Trey Gunn's warm soundscapes. Coltrane's "Giant Steps" is completely rearranged, some of sax parts are played here by Malone on his fretless. In the second part there appears an eastern sound influence. This part was later used in "Redemption's Way" on firs GK release. It's a wonderful cover that will not leave your head for months. The eastern influence also appears on other tracks. "Hand Full of Earth" starts with this kind of flavor, just to end with a wonderfully gorgeous soundscapes. _Cortland_ has some flows ( cheesy sounding keyboards), but the overall impression is very good. The music has a warm tone and is less aggressive and more spacey than Malone's work in Gordian Knot. Tracking down a copy may not be easy. However if you enjoy Sean's other works, good fusion or want to hear fantastic bass playing, be sure not to miss this one. But if you're a symphonic, neo-prog fan, check at your own risk, as it's musically far from your definition of progressive music.

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