Dominic Duval

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Anniversary Review

by Steve Loewy

Very few, if any, musicians have the breadth of experience of bassist Dominic Duval. From modern classical to free improvisation to the standards, he does it all, and with a technique and creativity only a handful can match on any instrument. One of the few acoustic string bassists able to sustain interest for an entire recording, the emphasis here is on modern takes of familiar tunes. "Goodbye Porkpie Hat," "It Never Entered My Mind," and "In a Sentimental Mood" are given new interpretations, so that they become indistinguishable in spirit from the radical improvisations of new tunes by the bassist. Melody is largely neglected, but chord changes are closely followed, or at least implied. Electronics are added occasionally, creating a tasteful, ambient atmosphere. Overall, there is less intensity than on other efforts by Duval and there are fewer displays of overt virtuosity. While not his best effort, this recording is nonetheless filled with simple pleasures and should not disappoint his admirers.

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