246

Boris Kozlov: Double Standard

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Boris Kozlov: Double Standard Selling a solo bass disc—both artistically and commercially speaking—is no easy feat. The demanding physical aspects of such a project, requiring a bassist to have the endurance to sustain perpetual motion and interest on such a behemoth of an instrument, is one problem. Another issue is general marketability. The average jazz fan might be quite happy to sit through a lengthy solo piano or guitar program, but solo bass is another story. While these two areas of concern have led some bassists to shy away from recording a solo project, others, like Boris Kozlov, have forged ahead, undaunted by the potential pitfalls.

Kozlov, best-known for his role as bassist, arranger and musical director with the various Sue Mingus-sanctioned Charles Mingus tribute outfits, isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and get down to business. His own "Kowloon Bass Check" starts things off with a bang, as he occasionally provides deep anchoring notes amidst rapidly running lines. The music then moves toward a slower, blues-infused section, with an implied swing feel.

While Kozlov follows that up with a nod to the great Miles Davis with "Solar," his take on Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan" is of greater interest. A large part of Strayhorn's magic came from the way he would voice a chord across a big band, so performing one of his pieces as a solo bass work presents a particular challenge. Fortunately, Kozlov's mastery of pacing, ringing notes and quickly strummed sounds allows for a broader sense of harmony than might be expected here, and the music even takes on a bouncy feel toward the end.

Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge" is a real barnburner, giving Kozlov another chance to flex his finger muscles, but the best bass bounty comes after it. "RGB/Self Portrait In 3 Colors" features multiple arco overdubs that create a deeply resonating heaven of harmony. At first, a lone plucked presence is heard, but then an angelic arco line, producing cello-like sonorities, joins the mix. Extra bowed lines are added, until a rich blend of bass voices rings through the speakers. While multiple bass overdubs have the potential to sound muddy, Kozlov's expert intonation keeps everything in balance.

Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" maintains an upright stature (no pun intended) as Kozlov delivers the piece with a sensational rhythmic sense. Ringing overtones add to the performance and create some brilliant sounds. Scott LaFaro, famed bassist with the Bill Evans Trio, is given his due with "Gloria's Step," and Horace Silver's "Peace" takes on a recital-like air with Kozlov's quasi-classical arco interpretation. The bassist's own "Anatole," which slowly draws interest and eventually picks up on a bouncy Brazilian vibe, closes out the program. Double Standard may not find a huge audience, but the audience that finds it will have plenty to appreciate.


Track Listing: Kowloon Bass Check; Solar; Isfahan; Inner Urge; RGB/Self Portrait In 3 Colors; Overjoyed; Gloria's Step; Peace; Satellite; Anatole.

Personnel: Boris Kozlov: bass.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Dream Maps" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Maps
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Things Are Looking Up" CD/LP/Track Review Things Are Looking Up
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "A Room Forever" CD/LP/Track Review A Room Forever
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "MG50 Peace & Fire" CD/LP/Track Review MG50 Peace & Fire
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!