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The Book of Flame
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The Book of Flame

5 May 2008 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8ba9bf48) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bd9e3fc) out of 5 stars Worth the wait 16 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
It has always been difficult to describe Michael Manring to friends... "he's a really great bass player"...just doesn't do it. There are many incredible bassists these days, but Michael Manring is most notable for his compositional skills, comparable to the greats of this era.
Early works for Windham Hill in the new age style helped defined the genre, though it was apparent with each subsequent release that he was destined for more significant musical accomplishments.
The "Thonk" CD (1993) again redefined the possibilities of progressive music with it's heavier, innovative compositions and brilliant performances by Michael and his guest musicians, Tim Alexander, Alex Skolnick, Steve Morse, and Steve Smith. Michael's "lead bass" technique and his continued use of unusual tunings, simultaneous multiple bass compositions and hyper-funk styles placed him in a class by himself, far beyond his previous work.
1998 has welcomed the return of Mr. Manring, first with "Attention Defecit", an experimental release, again employing the gifted resources of Tim Alexander and Alex Skolnick, and finally with "The Book of Flame", perhaps the finest offering to date.
On "The Book of Flame", Michael reminds us to check the calendar, again innovating with the use of carefully phrased and composed sample loops, along with his trademark hyperbass lines and E-Bow tracks, providing inifinte sustain and incomparable bass textures. Several solo bass tracks test the limits of modern stereo equipment ("help me", said my subwoofer...!) and again show that even without multi-track production, the man is a gifted solo artist. My favorite is "The Adamski Photographs", during which we are led down a serpentine musical path, only to arrive at the edge, where I believe we are introduced to the true Michael of the moment, shedding previous misconceptions, reaching deeply into the unknown, finding the new meaning and identity, and burning white hot, all at once.
"The Book of Living and Dying" is another solo bass piece, offered as a tribute to his great friend, Michael Hedges, who was killed in a car accident in 1997. Those of us who were fortunate enough to catch some of the Michael Hedges shows with his "most preferred stage mate", Michael Manring, can understand the depth of feelings being expressed in this piece over the loss of such an amazing talent.
Anyone with a desire to explore alternative realms of musical consciousness in an age of wildly conflicting plastic influences should make "The Book of Flame" a permanent presence in their "existential playstack". I have not been able to stop listening to this CD since I ordered it, and I think many of you will have the same experience.
Thanks to Michael Manring for such an amazing piece of work...thanks for taking the time and going to all the trouble, it was worth the wait.
Don Stevens
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bb11600) out of 5 stars Truly a Sensation like any other 23 Sept. 2001
By R. the Music Buff - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Michael Manrings musical ability is unique. The music he can summon from his custom made Zon Hyperbass is a sensation like no other. His fretless electric bass guitar with alternate tunings alone is something you don't hear very much; but his style of playing and the music he produces is amazing. He records 4 solo songs and has 7 accomponied songs. I personally like the solo songs better, but the accompanied are excellent ensemble work. I particularly liked his use of the E-bow (makes a sound like an orchestra bow would on a violin, viola, cello or contrabass (bass) on an electric bass guitar). One thing on this album that he does is classical songs on the bass guitar. It almost sounds like a blasphemous thing to do to beautiful pieces of music, but it is very beautiful when he does it (another artist that you cen hear do this is stuart hamm). Put this album on your christmas wish list, because it is something you can't hear anywhere else!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bb17b4c) out of 5 stars Innovative, Extraordinary bass playing!! 18 April 2005
By Clifford Lynn - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Well after seeing Michael play live, it became my mandatory mission to buy his cd. Magnificent!! This guy has got some chops! The sound recording is top notch, music is excellent and I highly recommend listening this cd through headphones, especially songs 'theusus in the rains', and 'fire sermon'. Seeing him play live is also an experience that all bass players, or bass enthusiasts should not miss. Jaco Pastorius fans would especially like his style, Michael studied with Jaco.

Bass fans if you haven't already check out: Victor Wooten, Avishai Cohen, Marcus Miller, Stuart Hamm, Les Claypul.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8beff69c) out of 5 stars Manring breaks new ground 29 Jan. 2000
By Eric Kiefer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Mr Manring has wisely stayed on the course he charted with the phenomenal "Thonk" by utilizing modern beats, rhythms and other cutting edge musicians. He shows his usual physical prowess and dexterity, as well as an evolving stylethat might make the milk in the wheat germ bowls at Whindham Hill curdle a bit!Buy it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c58f5d0) out of 5 stars Stellar, Manring's best yet. 14 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Manring must be the finest bass player, possibly musician, alive today. "Book of Flame" is Grammy-worthy and then some. I find myself lapsing into fits of manic giggling everytime I listen to it. Simply amazing.
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