Dan Blunck


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You may not have heard of Dan Blunck and you may be reluctant to listen to someone as obscure as he is -- but that would be a mistake. Although at the time of this release Blunck had recorded only rarely, he packs a mighty wallop that you are unlikely to forget. It is not easy to perform with only an acoustic string bass supporting you but Blunck does it gracefully, eloquently, and impressively. The style of freely improvised pieces might be "old hat" by the year 2002 (producer Bob Rusch calls this "mainstream Free Jazz"), but Blunck performs with an uncanny elegance. Sure, he can screech with the best but he also inserts melody, post-bop imaginative creations, and a finely tuned sophistication that blend nicely with Mike Bisio's bass. At heart Blunck is an aggressive player who confidently pursues strategies that incorporate hardcore over-blowing, but to his credit he can also wax delicately, and a diversity of emotions is found on this recording. There are few bassists who have the presence of Michael Bisio. He stays mostly in the background, emerging quietly while bringing out the best of his partner. This is Blunck's show, though, and this delightful recording should satisfy those who enjoy their free jazz immersed in sophisticated virtuosity, strong yet focused.