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© 2002-2021, Squidco LLC


Smith, Damon / Peter Kowald / Joelle Leandre / Bertram Turetzky: Bass Duos 2000-2007 [3 CDs + 3 Post (Balance Point Acoustics)

Three CDs, each dedicated to a mix of concert and studio recordings of double bass duos, the first between Damon Smith and Peter Kowald in 2000 at Gallery 2310, in Oakland, CA; the 2nd between Smith and Joëlle Léandre in 2002, which was recorded by Henry Kaiser; and between Smith and Bertram Turetzky at 1510 8th St. Performance Space, in Oakland, CA in 2007.
 

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product information:


Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPA3CD1
Squidco Product Code: 30218

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 4 Panels
CD1 recorded at Gallery 2310, in Oakland, California, on April 28th, 2000.

CD2 recorded in September, 2002, by Henry Kaiser.

CD3 recorded Recorded at 1510 8th St. Performance Space, in Oakland, California, oNovember 11th, 2007, tracks 1-5 in studio, tracks 6-7 live.


Personnel:

Damon Smith-double bass

Peter Kowald-double bass

Joelle Leandre-double bass

Bertram Turetzky-double bass

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Artist Biographies:

"Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon's explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson's Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra's Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and five great years in Houston, Texas working regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn, Damon will move to the Boston area in the fall of 2016. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians."

-Balance Point Acoustic Website (https://www.balancepointacoustics.com/damon-smith/)
9/13/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born 1944 in Germany, died 21 September 2002 New York City; double bass, voice, tuba.

Peter Brötzmann (Corbett, 1994) recounted that 'there was this young guy trying to play the bass, who was Mr Kowald, at that time seventeen years old. Peter lived with his parents. I had my little studio, so he was always hanging out at my place. But he had to be at home at 10.00, he was drinking milk. But we changed that, very soon. His parents were always very angry with me, because he never showed up at home anymore, he dropped studies of ancient languages, Greek and all that.' By this time (1962) Peter Kowald had been playing bass for two years and, with different drummers the two Peters were playing Mingus, Ornette, and Miles Davis things as well as listening to Coltrane, Stockhausen, Cage et al. Kowald was part of the European tour undertaken by the Carla Bley/Michael Mantler band in 1966 (also featuring Brötzmann) and then came work with other German musicians, membership of the Globe Unity Orchestra and the first recordings: Globe Unity, For Adolphe Sax and Summer 1967, recorded during a brief vacation in London. In particular, Evan Parker credits this visit to London for his invitation to play in the Pierre Favre/Irene Schweizer quartet and his subsequent longstanding involvement with German (and other European) musicians. Kowald's work with Brötzmann continued - on and off - on record at least, to the time of Kowald's death and included the Cooperative Trio with Andrew Cyrille, a duo on the Duos project and a recent mix of free jazz, hip-hop and rap.

Peter Kowald was a member of Globe Unity Orchestra for 12 years (1966 to 1978) and for much of this time played less of a side-man role and more of an equal partner - for example, conducting the band - with the person to whom the group has become most associated, Alex von Schlippenbach. His influence is particularly noticeable on Jahrmarkt/Local fair where the two sides of composition are by Kowald (as is the second side of Live in Wuppertal and he is also credited, along with Paul Lovens as 'producing' the record, presumably sorting out the sprawling theatricality and poor sound into two 'meaningful' fragments. In his notes to 20th anniversary, Schlippenbach emphasises the importance of Kowald in creating a programme that became a lot more 'colourful'; while further pointing out that he and Kowald gradually drifted further apart 'until one fine evening after lengthy discussions which resulted in a fight in a pub in Wuppertal, this chapter also closed'. However, before this ending, from 1973 to 1978, Kowald also worked with the Schlippenbach trio (Schlippenbach/ Parker/Paul Lovens), turning it for much of this time into a regular quartet.

Throughout his career, Peter Kowald worked with a wide variety of improvising musicians worldwide and in many considered and unusual situations. He recorded bass duets with Barry Guy, Barre Phillips, Peter Jacquemyn, Maarten Altena, Damon Smith and William Parker, released two solo bass recordings, and had regular groups with Leo Smith and Günter Sommer; with Joëlle Léandre and dancer Anne Martin (Trio Tartini); with dancers Cheryl Banks and Arnette de Mille and cellist Muneer Abdul Fataah (Music and Movement Improvisation); a trio with pianist Curtis Clark; a trio with Canadian alto saxophonist Yves Charuest and Louis Moholo; and Principle Life with Jeanne Lee, Klaus Hovman, and Marilyn Mazur. During the period 1980 to 1985 he was a member of the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra. He has spent periods in the US and in Japan and recorded three duo LPs (two CDs) with US, European and Japanese musicians. He also lived in Greece and similarly played and recorded with the Greek musicians Floros Floridis and Ilias Papadopoulos. By contrast, the 12 months May 1994 to May 1995 was designated Kowald's 'Year at home' project which comprised a mixture of solo works - out of which, to some extent, the last solo CD grew (Was da ist) - and group performances.

In addition, Peter Kowald collaborated extensively with poets and artists and with the dancers Gerlinde Lambeck, Anne Martin, Tadashi Endo, Patsy Parker, Maria Mitchell, Sally Silvers, Cherly Banks, Arnette de Mille, Sayonara Pereira, and Kazuo Ohno. Specific works included Die klage der kaiserin (1989) with Pina Bausch, Short pieces (since 1989) with Jean Sasportes, The spirit of adventure (1990) with Anastasia Lyra, Wasser in der hand (1990/91) with Christine Brunel, and Futan no sentaku/The burden of choice (1990/91) with Min Tanaka and Butch Morris."

-European Free Improv (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mkowald.html)
9/13/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"French double bass player (born 12 September 1951 in Aix-en-Provence, France), improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre is one of the dominant figures of the new European music. Trained in orchestral as well as contemporary music, she has played with l'Itinéraire, 2e2m and Pierre Boulez's Ensemble Intercontemporain. Joëlle Léandre has also worked with Merce Cunningham and with John Cage, who has composed especially for her - as have Scelsi, Fénelon, Hersant, Lacy, Campana, Jolas, Clementi and about 40 composers.

As well as working in contemporary music, Léandre has played with some of the great names in jazz and improvisation, such as Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Irene Schweizer, William Parker, Barre Phillips, Pascal Contet, Steve Lacy, Lauren Newton, Peter Kowald, Urs Leimgruber, Mat Maneri, Roy Campbell, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Mark Naussef, Marilyn Crispell, India Cooke and so many others...

She has written extensively for dance and theater, and has staged a number of multidisciplinary performances. She got the DAAD at Berlin, is welcomed as artist resident at Villa Kujiyama (Kyoto). In 2002, 2004 and 2006, she is Visiting Professor at Mills college, Oakland, CA, Chaire Darius Milhaud, for improvisation and composition. Her work as a composer and a performer, both in solo recitals and a part of ensembles, has put her under the lights of the most prestigious stages of Europe, the Americas and Asia.

From 1981 to 2009, Joëlle Léandre has about 150 recordings to her credit.

-Joelle Leandre Website (https://www.joelle-leandre.com/biography/2/)
9/13/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Bertram Jay Turetzky (born February 14, 1933) is a contemporary American double bass (contrabass) soloist, composer, teacher, and author of The Contemporary Contrabass (1974, 1989), a book that looked at a number of new and interesting ways of playing the double bass including featuring it as a solo performance vehicle with no other instrumental accompaniment.

Turetzky has performed and recorded more than 300 pieces written by and for him. He is a composer whose music has achieved some prominence,[citation needed] as have his interpretations of early music and composers like Domenico Dragonetti. Music critic Michael Steinberg has praised his continuo playing. Turetzky has appeared as a featured soloist in the major music centers of the world and is the most widely recorded solo doublebass player with seven albums on Advance, Ars Nova, Nonesuch, Takoma, Desto and Finnadar music labels.

Turetzky is a versatile musician, conversant in chamber music, baroque music, classical, jazz, renaissance music, improvisational music and many different genres of world music. He has also developed a special affinity for klezmer music.

In addition to The Contemporary Contrabass, Turetzky has co-edited a book series called The New Instrumentation; seven of a planned eight volumes have been finished. Turetzky wrote an introduction to The Autobiography of Pops Foster: New Orleans Jazz Man which spoke to the early development of jazz bass playing.

Bernard Jacobson of the Chicago Daily News described Turestzky as "a virtuoso of caliber unsurpassed by any other practitioner of his instrument today."

Turetzky was born in Norwich, Connecticut, United States, and grew up there. He received a master's degree in music history from the University of Hartford. In his youth, he was drawn to classic jazz music, playing professionally in that style at his first performances. His aspiration to be a jazz player was encouraged by many of the older swing stars. Turetzky continues to play classic jazz, and appears regularly at jazz festivals.

Turetzky first recorded in 1964, featuring the work of American composers George Perle, Edgard Varèse, Donald Martino, Kenneth Gaburo, Ben Johnston, and an early instrument and tape piece by Charles Whittenburg. Recording activities continued with records on labels Nonesuch, Son Nova, Ars Antigua, and Desto. He has worked with Charles Mingus, and has made a series of recent recordings on the Nine Winds label with improvisational musicians George Lewis, Vinny Golia, Wadada Leo Smith, Mike Wofford and others.

Turetzky is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. His former students include bass virtuosos Mark Dresser and Karl E. H. Seigfried; Dresser now holds Turetzky's former UCSD faculty position, while Seigfried is working with Turetzky on the latter's autobiography.

He is married to flutist Nancy Turetzky, and they have two sons and a daughter, and live in Del Mar, California.

He also plays the guitar, piano, and banjo."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertram_Turetzky)
9/13/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


CD1



1. Broken Mirrors April 28th, 2000 (Live) 15:35

2. Broken Mirrors April 28th, 2000 (Live) 16:07

3. Reflections On April 28th, 2000 1 3:46

4. Reflections On April 28th, 2000 2 3:59

5. Reflections On April 28th, 2000 3 3:13

6. Reflections On April 28th, 2000 4 4:39

7. Reflections On April 28th, 2000 5 2:32

8. Reflections On April 28th, 2000 6 3:58

9. Reflections On April 28th, 2000 7 7:20

CD2



1. Throw off the Husk 4:36

2. Ancestor And The Future 3:05

3. Lost And Lucid 3:24

4. Time Dries Up (DS solo) 1:19

5. Mirrors Without Dust 2:35

6. Uweaving the Threads (JL solo) 4:51

7. Listening to the Same Blood 2:47

8. Hive of Instants (DS solo) 2:19

9. Building our Erosions 3:32

10. Flowers Without Venom 3:06

11. Unfingers its Grasp 4:23

12. Sky Without Birds 1:59

CD3



1. Vulturegrip 4:12

2. Coalmarked 10:37

3. Chalkravine 6:36

4. Woodsong 2:05

5. Slickensides 6:14

6. Southbright 10:52

7. Northtrue 8:28

sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Damon Smith Bass Duos with:
Peter Kowald 2000
Joëlle Léandre 2002
Bertram Turetzky 2007

I met Joëlle Léandre when she was a visiting professor at Mills college in 2002. This was very exciting, as I had been collecting her albums since I started to play the double bass and she was an important influence on my work. I had a bass lesson scheduled with her the day we lost Maestro Kowald. She was very close to him and it was devastating to her. For me, it meant losing a role model; for her, it was losing a close friend and supporter. We had a long phone conversation and she told me many stories about him. A few days later, Henry Kaiser graciously offered to let me record a solo for Kowald in his home studio. I thought a bass duo with Joëlle would be more fitting and I believe it was. Still, the sadness surrounding the session kept us from dealing with it for many years. I would get it out and try to consider track order or titles, maybe email Joëlle about it, and that would be the extent. Both her work and his remain a guide for me as I continue my work in the music. I am glad to finally get this session out into the world!

The reason I started playing music was because of seeing the great Mike Watt play with the band fIREHOSE. His extremely physical and multi-textured approach to the bass guitar logically pushed me to improvised music and the double bass. In the 1990s I had formed a bass quartet with George Cremaschi, Lincoln Smith, and Morgan Gubberman and we decided to ask Watt for a composition for our next performance. Watt replied saying he has lots of compositions and that he would just come up and play them with us. The music he brought consisted of his pieces from the monumental minutemen album Double Nickels on the Dime. I am a bit too young to have seen the minutemen so this was an incredible experience: the first time I heard these songs live was playing them with Watt! I should mention that Watt's bass duo DOS, with the great Black Flag bassist Kira Roessler, is now his longest running band and the first time I ever heard a bass duo was one of their albums! We got quite a nice guarantee for the show and I asked Watt if we could spend half of it bringing Bertram on board. Watt was excited by the idea! Bert was into playing a rock club and said "I used to play places where you had to check your guns and knives at the door. It will be great!" At the show a punk rocker yelled, "Play louder" during a break in his set that night. Bert replied, "You listen louder." I ended up getting lessons from Bert, organizing many Bay Area concerts and workshops for him, and we developed a friendship. For me as a young bassist, he was very generous with his time. His commitment to improvised music was very inspiring as was his tireless effort to catalog the available timbres and techniques for the instrument, resulting in his book The Contemporary Contrabass. Originally meant as a resource for composers, it is an incredible guide for improvisors trying to deepen their relationship to the instrument. During a phone conversation one of us casually suggested a duo album. The magnitude of recording with this master did not sink in until just a few days beforehand! It was originally released in an edition of 100 CDRs that sold out pretty quickly.

These experiences are formative for me and have shaped the way I work with the instrument in improvised music. Not everyone has the opportunity to go directly to the source of the area they are working in, and these duos are certainly the source for me. Dave Holland and Barre Phillips made the first improvised double bass duo LP. It seems to me that Kowald's series of three LPs on FMP with Barre Phillips, Maarten van Regteren Altena and Barry Guy solidified it as a working method, and this meant having the duo as an available format in which I could work. My longest running bass duo is with the Texas bassist Thomas Helton, and hopefully an album will come out of our work as well."-Damon Smith, 2019



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

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