Robert Black, basses
1-5. Look She Said (1991) * (2:10 – 1:59 – 4:37 – 3:29 – 1:40)
for solo bass with voice
Written for Robert Black
6-9. Jasper (1991) * (5:18 – 2:06 – 6:58 – 1:49)
for bass and violin
Robin Lorentz, violin
10-12. String Bass Exercise out of “Bandiera Rossa” (1975) (8:36 – 7:24
for solo bass
13. Dark as a Dungeon (1977) (7:51)
for bass and trombone
Julie Josephson, trombone
14-16. Untitled (1996) * (3:11 – 3:37 – 1:32)
for electric bass-guitar
* First Recording
Composer supervised recordings
“The double-bass – the paradox of its large size and basically quiet sound, and its low registral grounding – has long attracted me. I’ve also been fortunate in knowing outstanding double-bass players.” – Christian Wolff
This disc collects all of Wolff’s large body of works for the bass, including a piece for solo electric bass guitar. Two of the works were written specifically for Robert Black, who prepared these pieces with Wolff. The composer attended all of the recordings sessions.
Two works are for solo bass: String Bass Exercise out of “Bandiera Rossa” (written for Fernando Grillo), and Look She Said (written for Robert Black), which is based on folk and fiddle tunes, including one movement where the bassist is asked to sing along with the harmonics being played. It is a tribute to Laurie Anderson.
“At about this time Robert was looking for music for himself and a violinist. So Jasper came next, again a tribute, to Jasper Johns whom John Cage took me to meet, along with Robert Rauschenberg, when they had come to New York in the mid 50s, and at whose work I have since then never stopped wondering.” – C.W.
Dark as a Dungeon, for bass & trombone, is from a song by Merle Travis about life for Kentucky coal miners, and was written for Garrett List and Jon Deak. The disc closes with a unique piece in the repertoire for solo bass-guitar, Untitled.
Liner notes are by Christian Wolff and Robert Black.
Robert Black, one of the music world’s leading doublebassists, is equally at home in classical and contemporary repertoire. The recipient of many national grants, he has commissioned over 50 solo works and is known for his innovative inclusion of music technology in recitals and chamber music performances. His frequent tours have taken him throughout the world. His credentials include being a long-standing member of Bang on a Can.