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 bassesChris Dahlgren (Jazz Mandolin Project), and Peter Herbert, internationally known for his film and dance scoresjoin Ullmann, who plays bass clarinet and bass flute here. The mood throughout has a brooding and introspective feeldarkly 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.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.