All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Mark Dresser: Modicana

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
As virtuoso bassist Mark Dresser has been performing and recording solo since 1983, you can guarantee that he knows what he's doing. And Modicana fully meets expectations, presenting an accomplished and engaging album which belies the potential austerity of the unaccompanied recital. The limited edition LP collects two pieces recorded live at the 2016 Umea Jazz Festival in Sweden, with five selections from the studio at University of California, San Diego where Dresser is Professor of Music.

Unlike many solo albums, Dresser derives everything he needs from within the physical resources of his instrument without resorting to any additional effects. The program mingles compositions with seeming extemporizations, but the distinction is artificial in any case given Dresser's skill at composing in the moment. He demonstrates a sure sense of dynamics, of volume and intensity especially, but he also contrasts bowing with plucking, explores textures within and outside the norm, and melds them all in a way which suggests a coherent internal logic.

Of the charts, "Hobby Lobby Horse" is necessarily given a very different reading than the septet version on Sedimental You (Clean Feed, 2017), its structure and chordal framework supplemented by tumbling digressions and nimble variations, with a coda of descending discords and overtones. "For Glen Moore" is a vivacious dedication to the former Oregon bassist, replete with resonant bending pitches unified by a barely delineated melodic idea.

Those two tracks apart, Dresser creates captivating music largely without recourse to sustained melody or rhythm. He's particularly inspired by the physicality of the bass, whether the thwack of strings against wood, or the zinging harmonics. "Invocation Umea" might be the best example with its propulsive drama of buzzing, shuffling, bouncing bow work enhanced by sudden swells, repeated phrases plumbed for their implications, vocally inflected cries, Bach-like fragments and passages of mournful insistence, but in truth such invention shines out on every cut.

Track Listing: Invocation Umea; For Glen Moore; Threaded; Hobby Lobby Horse; Modicana Teatro Greco; Modicana Shakeratu Non Zuccheratu; Modicana Panettiere.

Personnel: Mark Dresser: upright bass.

Title: Modicana | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Hobby Lobby Horse

Hobby Lobby Horse

Mark Dresser
Sedimental You

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sedimental You

Sedimental You

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy
Modicana

Modicana

NoBusiness Records
2017

buy
Sedimental You

Sedimental You

Clean Feed Records
2016

buy
 

Code Re(a)d

W.E.R.F.
2014

buy
Mark Dresser: Nourishments

Mark Dresser:...

Clean Feed Records
2014

buy
Nourishments

Nourishments

Clean Feed Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Uplift The People CD/LP/Track Review
Uplift The People
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read A New Shade Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review
A New Shade Of Blue
by Chris May
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Rabbits on the Run CD/LP/Track Review
Rabbits on the Run
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Imaginary Numbers CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Numbers
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "New Chapter" CD/LP/Track Review New Chapter
by Jim Olin
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Enemy" CD/LP/Track Review Enemy
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "Cycles of Animation" CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Meditation Tape" CD/LP/Track Review Meditation Tape
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Love Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Love Stone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2018