Cellists had to relinquish their exclusive ownership of Bach's cello suites long ago. Violists and guitarists have played them; Leopold Godowsky made lush arrangements of them for the piano; and Robert Schumann went so far as to attach newly composed piano parts to the originally unaccompanied cello. Now Edgar Meyer adds to this Bachian bounty, performing three of the six suites on the double bass. "There is a soulfulness to this music that I want to bring out," Meyer has said, and his instrument's dark tone definitely evokes a unique sense of profundity. Technically, his playing is a tour de force. Despite the rich, highly resonant sonorities of his instrument's lower strings, the texture never sounds muddy. It's Meyer's musicianship, however, that makes this recording so uncommonly satisfying. These are musing interpretations, with leisurely tempos that capture the music's grave yet graceful spirit. Meyer's intimate approach seems worlds away from the gripping drama of Yo-Yo Ma's recent account -- it's like comparing art song with opera. If you've heard this bassist get down-and-dirty on Short Trip Home or enjoyed the folksy charms of his Appalachian Journey, these exalted performances offer further proof that Meyer is one of the most gifted and versatile musicians of his generation.