6

Robert Black: Possessed

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Robert Black: Possessed
Double bassist Robert Black (a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars) became fascinated by the desert landscape around Moab, Utah after an invitation to play at a music festival there. He improvised this entire site-specific environmental duet "on location" over the course of three days in August, 2013. The project was documented with video and photography: the full package includes a surround-sound DVD, CD, and a visual art companion book.

The opening track "Hunter Canyon: Dawn" Part 1 immediately establishes the setting: bird and insect sounds precede Black's entrance, on bass played arco. Part 2 is a percussive interlude, the sound of the bass's body echoing in the natural canyon reverberation chamber. Part 3 returns to arco playing with a melodic, pastoral feeling. This kind of contrast is typical of the rest of the program: most of the tracks are in the two to three minute range, and each has a distinct identity.

"Pritchard Culvert: Morning" Part 1 features a hypnotic rhythmic ostinato, while Part 2 contrasts high bowed sounds with very low sounds. "Day Canyon: Afternoon" Part 1 is a busy, skittering pizzicato exercise. "Dragonfly Culvert: Evening" Part 1 has short arco phrases with natural reverberation, like a call and response between two instruments. "Hunter Canyon: Night" Part 1 has an especially melodic theme, with insect accompaniment. The closing Part 4 includes the same insects, but with a calm pizzicato bass part.

Even without the visuals there is a strong sense of place in this music. Black could have recreated the acoustic spaces in a studio and dubbed in insect and bird sounds, I suppose. But there's no denying the inspiration driving these improvisations.

Track Listing

Hunter Canyon: Dawn Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Pritchard Culvert: Morning Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Day Canyon: Afternoon Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Dragonfly Culvert: Evening Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Hunter Canyon: Night Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Personnel

Robert Black: double bass

Album information

Title: Possessed | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Cantaloupe Music

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson
Read Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
Jakko M. Jakszyk
Read Ceremonie / Musique
Ceremonie / Musique
What Happens In A Year

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.