Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Michael Bisio, Inimitable, Contrabass Solos

Michael Bisio is at the very top of the list of active and innovative New Jazz contrabassists out there. How that is involves a lot of things but above all it is his inventive and fresh improvisational grasp no matter who he is with or when he is in the mix. And naturally some of the most demanding and in turn rewarding moments can be when he goes it alone as an unaccompanied soloist.

I wrote about an earlier solo album many years ago on these pages (type his name in the search box above for my review of that.) Just now we have a new one and it could not be more welcome as far as I am concerned. It is aptly called Inimitable (Mung Music). He dedicates the album to everything singular inside us, everything that makes the world as it is when it is a wonder.

It holds together as a very personal expression of contrabass virtuosity and intelligence, indeed something inimitable. There are inspired articulations based on two standards--"I Fall in Love Too Easily" and Coltrane's "Wise One." Then there are some seven improvisations as original poetic statements of note..

What is exceptional is how Michael synthesizes a vibrant set of tone color possibilities with a consistently flowing and edgy contemporary  linear sense. These are deep, some very deep expressions that can only come about when there is a one-to-one expressive relationship of artist to instrument. It is rare when it reaches these heights. And so we are lucky to be witness to such inimitability.

And so there is every reason to hear this one repeatedly. It is a true milestone in contemporary improvisations for the solo bass. I recommend it without hesitation. It is a recording that will no doubt rank as some of the very most seminal of this decade perhaps, once we get past it all and once all is said and done. Hear this one and revel in it, do!