It's a good thing Nat Baldwin titled his solo debut Solo Contrabass, because without that title and the liner notes it wouldn't necessarily be clear that the sounds were made using an upright bass. Baldwin uses mostly extended techniques, substituting squeals and honks in place of notes. Solo Contrabass is similar to Charlotte Hug's Neuland and Scott Rosenberg's V: Solo Improvisations in that these extended techniques are used in an expressive (and often explosive) manner. Baldwin is at his best when his playing is loud and busy, as he is on the opening "Wounds," in which he sustains such a frenetic pace for so long that the listener can hear him grasping for breath. His playing isn't as exciting when it's quieter, and some of the longer tracks on the album wander a bit, but overall, Solo Contrabass is a strong solo debut by a young improviser worth watching.
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