Hans Fjellestad

Dual Resonance

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The untimely passing of the German free improv bassist Peter Kowald in September 2002 left many musicians in mourning, including a number of young improvisers from the U.S. Bay Area. In 2000, Kowald had toured the United States and spent a few days on the West Coast, performing and recording with local musicians. Pianist Dana Reason had organized a studio session with Kowald and Trummerflora Collective members Hans Fjellestad (piano, synthesizer) and Jason Robinson (saxophone, electronics). They committed to tape a handful of short quartets and a number of duets and trios in various combinations. Following the death of the bassist, the remaining three went back into the studio to record a few more trios as a living tribute to the man and the influence he had on them. Dual Resonance shuffles tracks from both sessions. Each permutation of players gives way to different nuances, but the modus operandi remains European-school free improvisation throughout. Fjellestad is the wild card, his analog burps and squirts startling and jousting the other improvisers out of their comfort zones. But he remains rather discreet, even turning to the piano when Reason sits one out, as in "Lunar Cycle." "Discursive Matter," Reason's duet with Kowald, provides a shining moment of beauty, while Robinson's two rounds with the bassist ("Dark Matter" and "Tomorrow's Question") explore dark acoustic drones. These musicians don't reinvent the free improv wheel, but they play with obvious honesty and devotion. If some pieces remain unengaging (the closing "Dual-Energy X-ray," for instance, where electronics and acoustic instruments remain tucked in their corners), as a whole Dual Resonance provides a fine listen.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:53
2 4:44
feat: Peter Kowald
4 3:40
5 3:15
6 2:22
7 4:24
8 3:28
9 6:45
10 3:47
feat: Peter Kowald
12 1:47
13 2:56
14 4:08
15 2:01
16 1:33
17 6:31
18 7:05
blue highlight denotes track pick