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Gebhard Ullmann: BassX3 (2005)

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Gebhard Ullmann: BassX3 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

BassX3, reedman Gebhard Ullmann's exploration of soundscapes dwelling in the lower end of the sonic spectrum, huffs in on on a low tone, a bass flute rumination joined shortly by the elastic sound of a bowed bass.

Two basses—Chris Dahlgren (Jazz Mandolin Project), and Peter Herbert, internationally known for his film and dance scores—join Ullmann, who plays bass clarinet and bass flute here. The mood throughout has a brooding and introspective feel—darkly passionate, hypnotic at times, and always deeply organic, evoking images of the slow and relentless churning of subterranean life.

A rubbery feeling of spontaneity is the key to the music's success; and it is a sound that works best when given full attention. Try to use it as background and it insistently pulls you away from the distraction you put in its way. Ullman can sound gruff or silky smooth on either instrument, and bassist Dahlgren adds some spare but nicely-placed percussive textures with "toys" and electronics for a subtle insertion of "time" elements in an otherwise liquid flow.

The restriction to the lower end of sound might suggest limitations, but BassX3 comes across as a full listening experience, not unlike what one encounters on some of the Spirit Room CIMP discs. You probably won't come away from the music whistling melodies, but a definite sense of marrow-deep nourishment lingers.

A darkly alluring listening experience.

Visit Gebhard Ullmann on the web at www.gebhard-ullmann.com .

Track Listing: Nummer Sieben, Gross und Klein, Small Birds/DreiHolz, BassX3, Blue Mint, Red, Yeah Mbira, Slowliness In Green And Yellow

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann--bass flute, bass clarinet; Chris Dahlgren--bass, toys, electronics; Peter Herbert-bass

Record Label: Drimala Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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