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Genetti / Smith / Lonberg-Holm: Sense of hearing (Balance Point Acoustics)

A series of studio duets between free improvising vocalist Carol Genetti and bassist Damon Smith, with Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm joining for the final four pieces, which were recorded live at the Empty Bottle in Chicago.

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product information:


Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPA005
Squidco Product Code: 15121

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2004
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded on January 29th, 2002, as a duo in the studio, and on January 30th, 2002 as a trio, live at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, Illinois.


Carol Genetti-voice

Damon Smith-double bass

Fred Lonberg-holm-violincello

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track listing:

As A Duo

1. Wuppertal Is An Idyll 7:32

2. The Hard And The Soft I 3:56

3. Urbanch Method 2:22

4. Simulate Bearability 2:48

5. Fragility Itself 6:12

6. Experimental Sentences 4:02

7. Ore, Oil, Open 4:36

8. Overhearing 4:04

As A Trio

9. Deadly Togetherness 6:12

10. Pouring Out Civilities 7:41

11. Self-Perpetuating Duplicity 9:32

12. A Sudden Fit Of Abstraction 4:06
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"For a while, bassist Damon Smith's preferred free improvising unit was the trio, as his previous releases on Balance Point Acoustics testify. But despite its triple bill, Sense of Hearing consists mostly of duets with singer Carol Genetti -- cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm joins in only for the last four pieces, representing half an hour of music. The duets have been recorded in the studio; the trio tracks are taken from a live performance at the Empty Bottle in Chicago.

Genetti plays her voice like an instrument, drawing on the legacy of Phil Minton and Maggie Nicols to develop her own identity. Several of her idiosyncrasies evoke bird songs (ululating, in particular), but she also uses a lot of croaking and half-enunciated nonsense sentences (similar in that to Morgan Guberman's vocal art), along with jazzier-sounding scat lines. Her tone is raspier than Aurora Josephson, another Bay Area singer often performing with Damon Smith (see their quintet CD, Zero Plus), and if she's not the most striking improv vocalist in America, she delivers a touching performance.

The eight duets presented on this disc range in duration between two and seven minutes. They showcase a musical language that is still growing or undergoing a certain mutation: the vocabulary isn't fixed, there is tension in the delivery, like an incertitude in how to interpret given signifiers. That provides an attention-grabbing level of unrest, especially in "The Hard and the Soft I" and "Experimental Sentences," the latter exploring softer, more fragile sounds. The trio pieces, performed the day after the studio session, are more assured, transmuting the previous tension into confident energy. "Self-Perpetuating Duplicity," with its train whistles, stands out as a potent free improv statement."-François Couture, All Music

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Trio Recordings

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