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The title of the first solo album of prolific Danish double bassist Adam Pultz Melbye is inspired by a quote from Samuel Beckett novel Watt (published in 1953). Metaphorically, Melbye follows Beckett's words, determined to liberate himself from a symbolic deep-toned sonic gullet filled with known articulations, a reinvent and explore new dimensions, colors and sounds in the infinite vocabulary of his trusty instruments.
Melbye, gifted with masterful and highly creative command of the double bass, uncovers the insides of this massive instrument in a series of nine concise improvisations. He begins on "Knee Right" with a methodical exploration of the different sonic qualities of the exact moment in which the bow is attached to the strings or the wooden body of the bass and the free associations following this formative gesture. "This" investigates the delicate sonic relations that occur within random a pizzicato touch of the strings. On the following track "On the Nothing New," and later on "Attempts at Relevance," he creates disturbing, quiet storms of fleeting overtones with the bow. "Dukkha," the Buddhist term for suffering, is a profound, minimalist recitation of deep sounds, as a secular, modest ritual.
Melbye wrestles with the double bass on the intense title piece, searching to structure narrative and coherence from this muscular improvisation, only to find that him and the instrument are equals, completing each other. "That" is a wise and playful improvisation that employs the resonating wooden characteristics of the bass and on "Zossener" it sounds as if the bow is the main instrument and the double bass is employing various extended techniques on the bow. "Knee Left" returns to the opening improvisation, applying similar methods and reaching a satisfying closure in this arresting journey.
Track Listing: Knee Right; This; On the Nothing New; Dukkha; Gullet; That; Attempts at
Relevance; Zossener; Knee Left.
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 ...