Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Peter Kowald: Silence and Files

125

Peter Kowald: Silence and Files

By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Kowald: Silence and Files
Peter Kowald's posthumous stock continues to rise with the release of Silence and Files, a live recording from a German village solo concert circa June, 2001. The late, lamented virtuoso takes a steel-nerved tour of the bass as infinite possibility, sweeping the listener along on the promise of unfolding surprise.

Kowald's approach to free playing burned past any possibility of head-trapped intellectual theory thumping into a possessed primal passion. He created obsessively, sculpting space with bass, moving through startling techniques like a sperm whale through krill.

As you would expect on a single improvisation that lasts over 45 minutes, Kowald strives to empty his bottomless bag of artistry. Instead, roaming imaginal realms, he invents endlessly, generating melody and sound like a bass database gone berserk. Deep rolling slurs whirl up from the lowest notes, bending and curling. Repetitive patterns form and mutate into dark rough sound. Finger-fracturing runs give way to growls and near-verbalizations. Melodies intertwine chords and drones. Hands explode into a locust plague of notes. Quiet reflective tunes betray strength, not rest. From roaring thunder to feathery overtones, he ends the tour de force with what sounds like Tibetan throat singing over arco.

Likewise, the second performance finds Kowald paging through his sound catalogue, pausing to explore a new sonic wonder and quickly moving to the next with consuming delight. The fierceness of his vision and the dazzle of its manifestation provide the continuity within the spontaneity.

While over an hour of improvised solo bass playing may sound as appealing as your neighbor's birthing video, in the hands of Master Peter Kowald, it's a trip to the Magic Kingdom with the fireworks on steroids.

Track Listing

Nggl 1; Nggl 2.

Personnel

Peter Kowald
bass, acoustic

Peter Kowald (bass).

Album information

Title: Silence and Files | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Free Elephant


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

DDG19 Big Band
Dani Gurgel
Legacy
Nick Finzer
Speak Moment
Dave Harrington - Max Jaffe - Patrick Shiroishi
Moab
Garza / Fawcett / Wojtowicz

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.