James Whiton plays the Double Bass differently than anyone you have ever heard. He has outstanding technique combined with a beautiful sense of musicianship, but the most remarkable thing about listening to him play is the strength of his voice on the instrument. He has invented and developed a right-hand slap technique that is absolutely his own. He uses effects widely, transforming the wooden sound of his upright bass into caterwauling, distorted wah-wah, electronica synth rubberized wet bass, buzzsaw distortion. He orchestrates the rhythm section around the textures he pulls out of his bass. Above all, he is tasteful, building space into groove and playing with an attention to the whole.
Listening to James Whiton play the string bass, it takes only a few seconds to realize that his is an absolutely unique voice. One should expect to hear a double bass do things that you never expected. James Whiton slaps, bows, maneuvers, and manipulates his instrument with orchestral precision and street-corner desperation. He has invented and developed a right-hand slap technique that is absolutely his own. He uses effects widely, often transforming the wooden sound of his upright bass into a caterwauling, distorted wah-wah, electronic synthesizer. He builds his grooves by playing with an attention to the subtle nuances of space and flow until he whips you deep into a trance. “The Way Your Mouth Moves” is the debut recording of James Whiton’s newest ensemble The Downtown Apostles. This emotive recording features the talents of guitarist Bill Patton, drummer Jay Jaskot and trumpeter John Fricke; whose performance hits notes that are soul piercing, creating sounds that seem to emanate from the night sky. The group elevates James’ composition and unique poetic stylings to give us a disc that is an insightful glimpse into the mind of a truly restless artist.