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Phillips, Barre: End to End

Just one man and his might sound like a lonely path, but Barre Phillips has always been up to the task, and in fact, he was the first musician to record an album of solo double bass way back in 1968, and he's continued to occasionally release them for decades. End to End, his latest for ECM Records, is stated to be his last, the final chapter of his 'Journal Violone' series. Recorded at Studios-La-Buissonne in the south of France, and produced by Manfred Eicher, End to End is warm & inviting, as if you are sitting in a room with Phillips as he takes you on a musical journey with his bass, plucking the strings and delivering cascades of elastic notes on one track, conjuring up all sorts of howls and chaotic noise with his bow on another, or slapping the neck for percussive, melodic effects during others. There are three lengthy suites here, all broken up into parts, so they basically segue into each other, but the tracks all have a different feel thanks to Barre's attack on his instrument, which is constantly changing and shuffling. His bowed parts are almost cello-like, "Quest Pt. 5 1" especially mournful, but when he's picking, his acrobatic runs up and down the fretboard deliver a somber yet highly melodic quality.

Probably not a release for the casual listener, End to End is still a remarkable achievement considering all the unique tones and colors Barre Phillips has created here with just one bass and nothing else. If he's going out with this one, he's gone out on top.

Track Listing
01 Quest, Pt. 1 1
02 Quest, Pt. 2 1
03 Quest, Pt. 3 1
04 Quest, Pt. 4 1
05 Quest, Pt. 5 1
06 Inner Door, Pt. 1 1
07 Inner Door, Pt. 2 1
08 Inner Door, Pt. 3 1
09 Inner Door, Pt. 4 1
10 Outer Window, Pt. 1 1
11 Outer Window, Pt. 2 1
12 Outer Window, Pt. 3 1
13 Outer Window, Pt. 4 1

Added: September 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1249
Language: english

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