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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.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...