The Squid's Ear Magazine

Dresser, Mark: Tines of Change (Pyroclastic Records)

A foundational member of the early Downtown NY scene, now West Coast-based double bassist Mark Dresser expands the sonic properties of his instrument in 12 succinct and forceful improvisations, expanding 4- & 5-string basses through metal tines, bowed and plucked, along with magnetic pickups amplifying nearly inaudible sounds from the strings and the instrument; awe inspiring!

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product information:

UPC: 020286242130

Label: Pyroclastic Records
Catalog ID: PR 25
Squidco Product Code: 33320

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Canada
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at UC San Diego, California. on July 21st, 2019, and November 1th and 14th, 2022, by Alexandria Smith.


Mark Dresser-bass

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"I think of the bass as an orchestra. Its sonic properties offer colors that are beautiful, dimensional, and idiosyncratic. Instrumental augmentation, decades of musical research, and hyper-specific recording techniques offer new musical potentials.

Luthier, engineer and bassist Kent McLagan has been building remarkably strong sounding, affordable basses from sustainable woods for over 20 years. McLagan's instruments maximize clarity of pitch and power in all the registers with innovative functional design.

Our collaboration began in 2000, when he embedded hand wound magnetic pickups in the fingerboard of my bass, in two specific locations, which amplifies three different pitch segments per string. This new music was first documented on the recordings UNVEIL (CD, Clean Feed 2005) and GUTS: Bass Explorations, Investigations & Explanations (CD/DVD, Kadima Collective 2010).

In 2014 I asked Kent to build me a bass with a removable neck and built in neck pick-ups that would weigh under the 50 pound limit for overweight airline charges. I also proposed an idea for an attachment to the bass that could be bowed and plucked, a set of metal tines, a cross between an African mbira and stroked rods designed by late composer, Robert Erickson, first recorded on Modicana (No Business, LP 2017)

In 2021 on a visit to Denver, Kent showed me a 5-string bass with a low B he had recently completed for himself. It was exceptional in its power and projection. I commissioned him to build me a five string with neck pick-ups and tines that could be strung with either a low B or a high C.

Alexandria Smith recorded and mixed this CD. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Loyola University, New Orleans. I first met Alexandria in 2017 when she was a graduate student at UC SanDiego. I showed her my McLagan bass with the tines and she offered to record me. I knew she as a gifted engineer she would capture the details ofmy performance and this new instrument."-Mark Dresser - December, 2022 Encinitas, CA

Artist Biographies

Mark Dresser is a Grammy nominated, internationally renowned bass player, improviser, composer, and interdisciplinary collaborator. At the core of his music is an artistic obsession and commitment to expanding the sonic, musical, and expressive possibilities of the contrabass. He has recorded over one hundred thirty CDs including three solo CDs and a DVD. From 1985 to 1994, he was a member of Anthony Braxton's Quartet, which recorded nine CDs and was the subject of Graham Locke's book Forces in Motion (Da Capo). He has also performed and recorded music of Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Dave Douglas, Osvaldo Golijov, Gerry Hemingway, Bob Ostertag, Joe Lovano, Roger Reynolds, Henry Threadgill, Dawn Upshaw, John Zorn. Dresser most recent and internationally acclaimed new music for jazz quintet, Nourishments (2013) his latest CD (Clean Feed) marks his re-immersion as a bandleader. Since 2007 he has been deeply involved in telematic music performance and education. He was awarded a 2015 Shifting Foundation Award and 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. He is Professor of Music at University of California, San Diego.

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Track Listing:

1. Prolotine 3:56

2. Tynalogue 3:16

3. Harmonity 7:38

4. Melodine 3:50

5. Bitonetime 3:21

6. Gregoratyne 6:08

7. Augmentine 6:49

8. Chordone 3:27

9. Nakatanitine 7:29

10. Tonologue 5:06

11. Narratone 5:23

12. Epitine 2:10

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Stringed Instruments
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Pyroclastic Records.

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