Bass player Rozzano Zamorano is well known to Houston music fans thanks to a long stint with the Fondue Monks. A Musical Illustration of the Human Condition, which Zamorano calls a collection of "bass compositions," neatly builds on his previous solo album Eudamonia. But Illustration isn't exactly a solo album -- locals Norma Zenteno and Randy Holland each lend their talents to a track, with additional track work by drummer Chris McHugh and percussionist Eric Darken. Zenteno adds her throaty vocals to "Play for Me," an imagined conversation between Zamorano and his bass, with Zenteno voicing the bass. "Play for Me" includes lines like "The things that you do to me, daddy / You know that you're the show." The lyrics are borderline cheesy, and a lesser singer would get lost in the shtick, but Zenteno pulls it off. Trumpeter Randy Holland joins Zamorano for "Requiem for Nawlings," an ode to the Big Easy that is simultaneously sad and hopeful. And that's Zamorano's strength -- he pulls an extraordinary amount of emotion out of four strings and an amplifier.
The CD's final track, "Closing Remarks," is exactly that, with Zamorano giving shout-outs to his producer Mike Thompson, discussing his musical philosophy (something to do with itchy gums), giving listeners a little history of his bass (a gift from his father in 1981) and inviting folks to visit his zamrecords.com Web site. In his liner notes, Zamorano thanks almost 50 supporters, among them Houston Press music writers John Nova Lomax and Bob Ruggiero. While the extended thank-yous are nice, the truth is that A Musical Illustration of the Human Condition is 100 percent Zamorano. -- Rozzano Zamorano performs Saturday, November 18, at Dan Electro's, 1031 E. 24th, 713-862-8707.