Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Double-Bass, This is Not Art, Benjamin Duboc, Jean-Luc Petit

The free music world has become infinitely plastic, completely malleable and as a result unpredictable. Take the duo Double-Bass and their album This is Not Art (Clean Feed 333). It consists of bassist extraordinaire Benjamin Duboc (type his name in the search box above for more reviews of his music) and the equally strong Jean-Luc Petit on contrabass clarinet. The apt name of the duo is a play on words, of course. Duboc plays the double bass and at the same time there are two bass instruments in this duo.

The group name is playful and the two lengthy improvisations on the album are playful yet quite serious. Duboc we have already seen can be very effective as a solo bassist, with lots of good ideas and a timbral sensitivity that goes far in creating music of interest. Jean-Luc Petit is the contrabass clarinet counterpart for this improvisational encounter, with an equal sensitivity to the timbral richness of his instrument.

The two most definitely hit the ground running on this one, complementing each the other with sound structures in motion that mesh well with one another and unfold a universe of low sounds and falsetto-like upper registers. They bring out the richness, the graininess, the colorfulness of the sound available through conventional and extended techniques. And it all has real musicality to it.

Free avant music has increasingly gained open-field possibilities these days. Duboc and Petit show us how such openness gives rise when things are right to an unpredictable series of musical events, to sonic adventure. These are two players at the top of their game! They give lovers of the lower depths much to explore and appreciate.

Highly recommended!

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