End to End

Many years ago, when I was twenty, I went to a local music shop and bought a double bass. I'd played it once, in the few minutes before handing over the cash.

I couldn't play the upright and could barely play electric bass, but I knew getting my hands on one was important.

That bass followed me from home to home, gig to gig, surviving all kinds of adventures. I improved but not enough. So, when I moved in to a small house with limited room I had to give the bass up. I did get and keep an electric upright bass, but that's another story.

The point of all this is that, in the time I had the double bass, I dreamed of playing a decent solo set. For a variety of reasons (lack of talent, lack of effort, too little focus) it never happened, but the music remained, hovering around my unconscious. I got a glimpse of what was possible at an Edinburgh Fringe performance by Steffano Scodanibbio (which was in itself mind-blowing) but it wasn't until recently that I found the sound I'd wanted.

On a CD called 'End to End' from ECM records I heard Barre Phillips playing solo double bass in a way that resonated with thoughts I'd had for 34 years. That's some heavy duty resonating. If you like the sound of the double bass then I'd suggest you check it out. Of course, the question I'm now asking is, how did I miss Barre Phillips and his body of work all this time?


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