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Phillips, Barre: Camouflage (Les Disques Victo)

"Recorded live at Vancouver's Western Front in 1990, this solo recording by bassist extraordinaire Barre Phillips is a set of improvisations. They explore not only Mr. Phillips' more than considerable abilities as a musician, but the li...

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product information:

Label: Les Disques Victo
Catalog ID: CD 008
Squidco Product Code: 23939

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1990
Country: Canada
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded Live at Western Front, Vancouver, Canada, May 12th, 1989, by Rene Lussier.


Barre Phillips-doublebass, tapes

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Artist Biographies:

"Barre Phillips (born October 27, 1934 in San Francisco, California) is a jazz bassist. A professional musician since 1960, he migrated to New York City in 1962, then to Europe in 1967.[1] Since 1972 he has been based in southern France where in 2014 founded the European Improvisation Center

He studied briefly in 1959 with S. Charles Siani, Assistant Principal Bassist with the San Francisco Symphony During the 1960s he recorded with (among others) Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Giuffre, Archie Shepp, Peter Nero, Attila Zoller, Lee Konitz and Marion Brown.[1]

Phillips' 1968 recording of solo bass improvisations, issued as Journal Violone in the USA, Unaccompanied Barre in England, and Basse Barre in France, is generally credited as the first solo bass record. A 1971 record with Dave Holland, Music from Two Basses, was probably the first record of improvised double bass duets.[2]

In the 1970s he was a member of the well-regarded and influential group The Trio with saxophonist John Surman and drummer Stu Martin.[1] In the 1980s and 1990s he played regularly with the London Jazz Composers Orchestra led by fellow bassist Barry Guy. He worked on soundtracks of the motion pictures Merry-Go-Round (1981), Naked Lunch (1991, together with Ornette Coleman) and Alles was baumelt, bringt Glück! (2013).[3]

He has also worked with (among many others) bassists Peter Kowald and Joëlle Léandre, guitarist Derek Bailey, clarinetists Theo Jörgensmann and Aurélien Besnard, saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker and Joe Maneri, and pianist Paul Bley.

Barre is the father of rock guitarist Jay Crawford from the band Bomb, of the bassist Dave Phillips and of singer Claudia Phillips, who was a one-hit wonder in France in 1987 with "Quel souci La Boétie". "

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Camouflage 16:19

2. Covered 10:05

3. Twist And Parry 8:29

4. No Exclusion 5:57

5. You And Me 6:17

6. Around Again 7:19
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Recorded live at Vancouver's Western Front in 1990, this solo recording by bassist extraordinaire Barre Phillips is a set of improvisations. They explore not only Mr. Phillips' more than considerable abilities as a musician, but the limits of the instrument itself as a method of expression. Over six tracks and nearly one hour, Phillips bows, plucks, strums, bangs on, and beats his double bass, wrenching from it every possible emotion and tone that he was capable of revealing at the time. The title track, completely bowed, opens the record. Beginning as somber reflection, it gradually builds in tension using the D and A strings as elemental forces against the bottom C and G. About midway, that taught wire snaps and a cacophony of textures and timbres emerge, offering new rhythmic possibilities and sonic architectures. "Covered," which follows at ten minutes, is Phillips' solo playing as evidenced on his solo recording for ECM. While played traditionally, the harmonic ideas areanything but. There is a complexity here that reveals how drones, when played against various rhythmic figures, accentuate dynamics and create chordal backdrops for other melodic frameworks that in turn create a framework for new drones. The recording closes with the meditative "Around Again." This is Mr. Phillips making his bass "sing" reflectively, creating the manner and syntax of a sung ballad by using the instrument's "traditional" voice and stretching its tonality over three-and-a-half octaves. Longer lines give way to short staccato bursts that are deeply expressive and sonorous. Camouflage is a recording of seeming disguises for an instrument thought to be merely a rhythmic tool to anchor soloists to a structure. In the hands of a master musician like Mr. Phillips, his 40 years as a professional have taught him that appearances in vision and sound can be deceiving."-Thom Jurek, All Music

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May 2017
Improvised Music
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