Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

344

Joelle Leandre: Concerto Grosso / Mark Dresser: Unveil

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Pity the poor bull fiddle. It's taken over from the tuba as the anchor of most jazz groups, yet when its turn comes to solo it's often seen as time to chat or go to the bathroom. It more than has the range of the saxophone or guitar, but the low tones demand greater concentration to follow. Still, two of its finest players have dedicated themselves to solo performance.

Joëlle Léandre
Concerto Grosso
Jazz'Halo
2005

French bassist Joëlle Léandre has devoted much of her career to solo performance and Concerto Grosso is the latest in a line of unaccompanied releases. Like Derek Bailey (with whom she's recorded) or Cecil Taylor, Léandre has developed a language on her instrument that is dense and easily recognizable as her own. Her long bowing and percussive approach, coupled with her expressive vocalizing, are distinctive and deeply evocative. The Gasthof Loppem recording—released by the Belgian Jazz Halo label—captures two January 2005 sets across two discs (totaling 87 minutes). As with Bailey or Taylor, it's difficult to take her playing apart or to rank her performances against each other. She tends—here and in general—toward shorter improvisations; the fourteen pieces here never break the ten-minute mark. The recording is close and personal and the performance beautiful. Leandre is an artist who can't be known without being heard solo, and Concerto Grosso is an excellent place to start.


Mark Dresser
Unveil
Clean Feed
2005

Where Léandre's playing is rich and earthy, Mark Dresser has built his instrument into something almost otherworldly. With pickups embedded in the neck, his bass is loud and hyper-sensitive. Unveil—released by the Portuguese Clean Feed label—is his first solo recording with the new wiring and it's strangely striking. Overtones and finger-hammers come through on level with the more usual playing, making it sound like a multitracked recording—or perhaps like being inside the big viol. Where this comes through most strongly is on the title track, remixed by Raz Mesinai (who also produced the disc). Oddly it's one of the simpler tracks on the album, as if to point out the richness that the wiring and Dresser's playing affords.


Tracks and Personnel

Concerto Grosso

Tracks: CD1: Dans Le Sol; For Tony; Chant Du Camembert ... Fourré!; Relaps; Spirale; Le Sommeil d'Hercule; Le Viol Du Bourdon. CD2: Tara's Place; Hey, Oldies; Love; ... Col Legno, Stretto; Row Land's Length; Parlotte.

Personnel: Joëlle Léandre: bass.

Unveil

Tracks: Lureal; Unveil; Clavuus; Undula; Kathrom; Cabalaba; Entwined; Pluto; For Scodanibbio; Lomus; Bacahaonne (for Israel "Cachao" Lopez).

Personnel: Mark Dresser: bass.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rock Candy: Montrose (eponymous) & Paper Money Multiple Reviews Rock Candy: Montrose (eponymous) & Paper Money
by Doug Collette
Published: December 29, 2017
Read Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition & Rez Abbasi’s Invocation Multiple Reviews Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition & Rez...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 27, 2017
Read Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa Multiple Reviews Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017
Read The Original Delaney & Bonnie (Accept No Substitute) and To Bonnie From Delaney Multiple Reviews The Original Delaney & Bonnie (Accept No Substitute)...
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017
Read Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile Multiple Reviews Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile
by Doug Collette
Published: December 17, 2017
Read The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble, et. al Multiple Reviews The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble,...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile" Multiple Reviews Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile
by Doug Collette
Published: December 17, 2017
Read "Green Mountain Jazz" Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out" Multiple Reviews Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "David Murray Octets on Black Saint" Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues" Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017