Album Review

Viktor Krauss - Far From Enough

Viktor Krauss - Far From Enough

When sidemen step forward, it can mean one of at least two things. It can be payback for all of their time well-served in support of others, a sort of "All right, yeah, I'll do this for you, now are we even?" proposition. In the best circumstances, it's a matter of the sideman also being equal to the task, showing skills that had not been widely displayed for the public at large. Such is the case with bassist Viktor Krauss. He's known for playing with his sister Alison, as well as everyone from Lyle Lovett to Bill Frisell. The dozen songs on Far From Enough are primarily originals and feature a supple combo including Frisell, Steve Jordan and Jerry Douglas. Alison also guests on about half the set, adding viola and vocals. However, with the exception of the cover of Robert Plant's "Big Log", the singing is wordless, this being an otherwise instrumental outing. The writing is mood-based, maintaining an atmospheric coherence; any dramatic shifts are subtle events. That said, the pieces are far from offhand, and exhibit more melodic structure that most soundtrack offerings. Ultimately what makes this work is that the band is consistent. They're inventive and responsive players. And it flows with the thoughtful progression of a true album (rather than a series of pieces meant to showcase themselves individually); it adds up to one strong whole.