Bassist Björn Meyer strongly believes that there are multiple functions for bass. Born just outside of Stockholm, he started out playing piano and some guitar but when he randomly picked up a bass, he realized that he had found his instrument. Self-taught, he had been inspired by the diverse styles of Marcus Miller and Jaco Pastorius. Meyer came to prominence playing a style called Trip Folk with the Swedish group Bazar Blå and with the jazz-oriented European trio featuring reed player Klaus Gesing, and drummer Samuel Rohrer. Meyer has also worked with Anouar Brahem and was a long-time member of Nik Bärtsch's Ronin. Provenance is a solo bass recording and Meyer's ECM debut.
Playing both electric and acoustic bass guitar, Meyer augments the sound with the light use of electronics. The effects of the latter are most evident on the opening piece "Aldebaran" and "Squizzle." The first of the two is a dreamy, ambient piece that brings to mind the recent Abdul Moimême Exosphere (Creative Sources Recordings, 2017). The electronic element is more subtle throughout the remaining ten tracks. "Banyan Waltz" and "Garden Of Silence" are constructed around somber broken chords and beautifully expressive melodies. Meyer moves beyond tranquility with more powerful cadences the tracks "Three Thirteen" and "Squizzle."
Meyer composed all the pieces on Provenance with the exception of "Garden Of Silence," a tune from Persian harpist/singer Asita Hamidi who played with Meyer in the group Bazaar Pool. The album is often stunningly beautiful; bittersweet tones and deeply affecting melodies brought to life with Meyer's unique guitar-like use of the bass. Highly recommended.
Aldebaran; Provenance; Three Thirteen; Squizzle; Trails Crossing; Traces Of A Song; Pendulum; Banyan Waltz; Pulse; Dance; Garden Of Silence; Merry-Go-Round.
Björn Meyer: 6-string electric bass, acoustic bass guitar; electronics.