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Artist: Damon Smith/Peter Kowald
Title: Mirrors - Broken, But No Dust
excerpt from liner notes:
this cd, pairing german master, peter kowald and the fiery young bay area bassist, damon smith, is an extraordinary example of what can happen when two improvisors are also virtuoso listeners. the linear clarity, the high spirited sonic explorations, the overall conversational approach and the unrelenting forward motion add up to an exciting listening experience. one of the remarkable things is that this dynamic duo accomplishes this without the usual “you play arco and i’ll play pizzicato” approach. this is testimony to their acute hearing and ability to make split-second decisions which result in maintaining their individual lines. this is no easy feat!
kowald employs his unique sonic vocabulary and smith deftly compliments him with his “encyclopedic” sound world, all the while making music that is unrelenting rhythmically. there is no ebb and flow....it’s simply straight ahead. there is no “tug of war” as we find in some improvising duos, but a highly spirited conversational approach that is exhilarating and most engaging.
don’t miss this unique listening experience. it is creative music for the new millennium, par excellence!
del mar april 2001
double bass duets, live and studio.
1-2 live recording by jim ryan 4/28/00 at gallery 2310 oakland, ca
this is one piece,index point is for convenience only.
3-9 recorded by myles boisen 5/3/00 at headless budda studio oakland, ca.
all tracks mastered by myles boisen at headless budda studios.
produced by damon smith and peter kowald
executive producer scott herbert
cover art and concept by kowald
Label Number: 001
Audio samples for this CDTrack 3
Artist: Damon Smith/Tony Bevan/Scott R. Looney
Title: the sale of tickets for money was abolished
The trio on this recording are as much a part of their place in historical
evolution as any group operating today, clearly a product of prodigious
awareness of history. The subcategories of improvised music are re-revealed
and ignored on this recording with a satisfying fluidity. As extended
instrumental techniques have been exploited by more and more players they
become less the property of any one player, and more the building blocks of
a worldwide language. Scott Looney’s piano preparations and alternate
methods of activating (combined with his electronic components) could remind
one at times of the inside-the-piano work of say, Paul Bley and Denman
Moroney, yet his combining of these languages with an eye on the future
comes through. I also hear in him a healthy nod to Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra,
and in a way that sounds wonderfully organic. Like his cohort, Damon Smith,
a virtual encyclopedia of modern bass styles and extended techniques, Scott
has artifacts in his playing that range from pre-Jazz listening, and
combined with Smith’s, they become almost like Vladimir Ussachevsky
interpreting the works of Conlon Nancarrow with Ronnie Boykins!
Tony Bevan is a man after my own heart. To dedicate oneself to the bass
saxophone: now this is a statement. And then to play it as he does.
Grinding, singing, growling, finishing contrabass or piano notes, or
providing the attacks for the notes of others. He’s like the air-traffic
controller of this group, taking everything in and giving it back in a new
way. I guarantee you’ve never heard the bass sax exploited to this degree.
While the extreme register instruments have been utilized regularly since
the late-60’s by creative improvisers, almost none have devoted themselves
to the lowest and highest-pitched instruments of the family full time.
Netherlander Klaas Hekman has traveled the world with his bass sax, and the
original master of the instrument was the great Adrian Rollini who is best
known for his work with Bix Beiderbecke and Frank Trumbauer. Now we have
Englishman Tony Bevan to add to the list with a singular voice.
All the overblown expectation that built up during the approach of the new
century has lifted and now important dynamic shifts can begin without all
the pressure of outdated questions. The avant-garde tradition has extended
itself beyond analysis that was based in the language of Jazz. The answers
are self evident to those who passionately explore this music. The music
poses new questions if you are willing to hear them. Are you really hearing
or are you just listening?
seattle, may, 2001
all instant compositions by bevan/smith/looney except where noted.
all pieces are in the original order , no overdubs, with just one small edit to one piece.
all title come from "the babylon lottery" by jorge luis borges
recorded 4/30/00 between 11am & 1pm
in west oakland california
engineered and produced by scott r. looney
executive producer scott herbert
cover art by tom schultz:
front: “94/3” back: “94/4” both 48 x 60 acrylic on canvas
layout & graphic design by alan anzalone
Label Number: 002
Audio samples for this CDBrilliant Result
Artist: Three October Meetings
Title: Three October Meetings
Damon Smith - contra bass
Wolfgang Fuchs - reeds
Jerome Bryserton - percussion
Label Number: 003
Audio samples for this CDTrack 5
Artist: zero plus
Title: zero plus
aurora josephson, phillip wachsmann, jacob lindsay, damon smith, martin blume
Label Number: 007
Artist: the happy makers
Title: the happy makers
wolfgang fuchs/jacob lindsay/damon smith/serge baghdassarians/boris baltschun
Label Number: 008
Jacob Lindsay - Ab, Bb, Bass & Contrabass Clarinets
Ava Mendoza - Guitar
Damon Smith - 7 String Ergo Bass, lloopp
Weasel Walter - Percussion
Label Number: 013