Genres: experimental, improv, double bass
195 Three Oaks Dr
Athens GA 30607
Dec 9 - 15 2002
Solponticello label's output so far has consistently managed to
surprise and delight critics. Right from release number one, their
output has received the type of acclaim very few labels could even
dream of. And Caspar is no different.
Musically documenting the life experiences of the tragic Kaspar
Hauser, Klaus Janek's album is an extraordinary feat,
especially considering the only instrument he uses (yes, this is a
purely solo venture) is the infamous double bass. And not only that,
this is entirely live; no editing took place. With those facts in
mind, it's amazing to consider just how many different sounds and
styles Janek can squeeze out of his instrument. Thumps, booms,
scrapes, strokes, and even the occasional squeal can be heard. The
effects are mesmerizing.
Parts I through VII are like an unwinding story. At times it'll be
frustrated and urgent (Parts IV and I are prime examples), and at
others it will be loose and more subdued (the jazzy bass-and-scat
combination of Part III is brought to mind). "Prayer Beads,"
meanwhile, is the odd one out. Finishing the album in a deceivingly
light mood, the Marc Johnson composed piece sees Janek
actually using his instrument in a more traditional manner. Bizarrely,
though, it goes perfectly with the other pieces and really ends the
album off in good style.
As an album, Caspar is very successful. It is clear that Klaus
Janek is a prime force on the avant-garde double bass scene (which
has recently gotten much attention thanks to bassists such as Mark
Dresser and Dominic Duval). It will be interesting to see
how his next release turns out.
8 tracks; distributed by the