Brian Kastan

Brian Kastan

Instrument: Bass, electric | Location: New York City

Think Zappa 21st Century… Brian's Guitar is Just Killer.
—Dick Metcalf

Updated: April 16, 2021

Born: April 2, 1972

​ Brian Kastan is a guitarist, electric/fretless bass player, composer and landscape photographer. He is best known for his original sounding improvisations and composing style, self-developed hybrid finger picking technique on guitar, and laying down big fat bass grooves and electric bass improvisations. Brian has released 28 albums as a band leader or band member. (Playing bass on 8 of the albums) Brian Kastan has composed soundtracks for TV and Film (Featuring Robert Loggia-Nominated for Academy Award The God Father-Sopranos, Martin Kove, (Karate Kid/Rambo), Gilbert Gottfried, Jimmie Walker (Goodtimes), Michael Winslow (Police Academy) Todd Bridges (Different Strokes) Jewels McCullough (Playboy Playmate/Growing Pains, Composed Soundtrack for Blue Lives Matter movie with acclaimed movie director Dylan Bank) Plus, composed soundtrack for T.V. show Hospital Arrest. ​ ​ Played guitar for Nonsuch Record Label, Rhys Cantham's “The Grissom Grail”, crimson-grail Recorded Live at Lincoln Center in 2010. ​ Played MTV Rock the Vote at Rutgers University Composer Representing Unites States/Focolare Movement/ Shown Via Satellite on 6 Continents (Budapest Blues) 2009. Plus performed and/or recorded with Grammy winning jazz vocalist, Miles Griffith, (Won grammy with Wynton Marsalis Blood on the Fields) Peter O'Brien, Steve Rust, Christopher Dean Sullivan, Yutaka Uchida, George Dulin, Danny Zanker, Jay Brunka, Oscar Perez, Dave Mullen, Robert Kopec, Tani Tabbal, Bob Meyer, Harvey Sorgen, Taru Alexander, Nick Gianni, Dave Berger, Eric Person,George Spanos, Travis Sullivan, Eishin Nose, Mike Pride, Ryan Berg, Eddy Khaimovich, Andy Sanesi, Juini Booth, Micheal Bisio, Leo Genovese, and many more

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Omni original new directions Eric Person, Brian Kastan, Bob Meyer – VIVID LANDSCAPES: For me, there’s nothing more exciting than when an artist (or, in this case, group) takes the listener down totally new pathways… on this new set of omni original new directions, you’ll hear Eric Person’s sax, Brian Kastan’s fretless bass and Bob Meyer’s drums do exactly that… and there’s no better way to get your exposure to their collective improvising genius than to watch them together… I can guarantee you that if you’re a big fan of improvised music, you’ll enjoy many hours of it when you SUBSCRIBE to Brian’s YouTube channel – I’ve been signed up there for a long time now.

The pacing and playing on this marvelous set is totally different from anything I’ve ever heard him do, and certainly different from when I reviewed his deliciously dastardly “Music You’ll Probably Hate” album last spring… on songs like the 6:21 “Sandstone Canyon“, you’ll feel like you’re on an adventure through endless gullys and gorges… delightfully trudging through the tumbleweed into totally new vistas!

Brian’s fretless bass intro, together with Bob’s drum work setup “Red Rocks” for a shimmering saxophone solo from Eric… there’s nothing “frenetic” here, it’s all a tasty trek through sonic wonders that you’ve never before encountered.

Eric’s sax takes the lead during the intro to “Bowling Rocks“, with penetrating (yet somehow subtle) undercurrents of ecstasy guiding you on your journey… I have a feeling this tune will be added to DJ playlists far and wide over the coming months!

I had absolutely no doubt after my first listen through this 54:16 gem what my choice for personal favorite of the dozen delightful tracks would be… an absolute scorcher by the end of the tune, the 4:08 “Chimney Mountain” starts off with a slow-walk fretless bass solo from Brian, but quickly morphs into a rip-roaring improv that will quench your thirst for “different” (in many different ways)… this is THE BEST trio improv I’ve heard (yet) in 2021.

I give this marvelous trio a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 5.00 – meaning that it also gets a “PICK” from me for “best improv trio album”

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Higher Ground

From: Not So Standard
By Brian Kastan

Brian Kastan Albums