Sunday, April 02, 2017

William Parker and Stefano Scodanibbio - Bass Duo (Centering / Aum Fidelity, 2017)

William Parker has had an amazing career where he has climbed the ladder to become one of the finest bassists in modern jazz. But this is a rare format for him, a co-billed paring with a fellow virtuoso bass player on an album of very open ended duets. But the risk pays off beautifully and the music the two artists play is tightly focused and inspirational. The Italian bassist Stefano Scodanibbio (who has since passed away) had played and thrived in a wide variety musical situations, mostly classical, interpreting the music of a range of composers and counting the renowned avant-guardist John Cage as one of his biggest fans. Bringing these men together for an improvised performance was an inspired idea, and they met at the Udin Jazz Festival in Italy in 2008. Both Parker and Scodanibbio are composers and improvisers who have a deep sense of musical propriety and style, developing sources that are true, dynamic and personal. The two musicians develop a five part suite of prepared and improvised music that shows the length and breadth of what the upright bass can do in the right hands. They investigate an arena where classical music, jazz and free improvisation march proudly side by side. Bowing and plucking, slapping the bass to create percussive sounds and doing so in a sympathetic environment that allows each musician to display the best at what they do in a solo and duet format that maximizes the music whether it is subtle pulses or huge arcing drones that light up the sky around them. The music has a meditative nature that becomes the declaration of their own musical independence which transcends any genre and moves into the realm of pure artistry. This concert recording was prepared for release by William Parker on his own Centering Records imprint, which he reserves for his most personal projects, and is available through AUM Fidelity Records in a limited edition of 1,000 copies with excellent liner notes and photography included. If you are a fan of the bass or of creative improvised music, this should not be missed. Bass Duo -

Send comments to Tim.