True story: A friend was walking the narrow aisles of J&R Music World in New York, when a man turned into her aisle, wheeling a big bass in front of him. The friend flattened herself to let the man and the stringed behemoth pass, whereupon the man said, "Don't be afraid. It's only a bass."
Sonic Brotherhood is a beautiful CD featuring the bass and nothing else. But don't be afraid, it's only a bass. In fact it's five of them, played by modern masters Mark Dresser, Irina-Kalina Goudeva, JC Jones, Barre Phillips, and Bert Turetzky. The musicians play in a variety of combinations, including solos, duets, and all five together, giving the listener a wonderful opportunity to experience this unique instrument and its undeniable potency.
The music on this CD comes from Deep Tones for Peace (DTFP), a very special collective of bassists and composers who are dedicated to peace in the Middle East. On April 25, 2009, after nearly nine months of daily preparation, DTFP hosted a telematic concert of thirteen bassists performing together live on the Internet, with some of the musicians in New York and some in Jerusalem. Material from this historic event has been released by the Kadima Collective recording label (KCR) as the Deep Tones for Peace Triptych (a DVD, CD, and photography booklet), and now this CD provides previously unreleased material from the five-bass contingent in Jerusalem.
Although this CD can be considered a supplement to the triptych, it certainly stands on its own. Nine of the ten pieces are improvisations, with the songs ranging in length from two minutes to eleven. The pure motives and inspiring vision of the collective are evident throughout, and their deep passion really touches the heart. The CD is also a great education on the bass and all that it can do: the five masters explore the full range of the instrument and its wonderful spectrum of sound, including the bass's magical capacity to soar as high and free as a bird, as well as proclaim a resounding depth that seems to come from the very soul of the earth.
This is music of great strength and intricacy; the improvisations are of the highest quality, with each musician playing at full power, their senses on high alert for whatever's coming next. Infused throughout these transcendent sounds is the DTFP vision for peace in the Middle East, and their belief in the human ability to evolve. For peace to prevail on earth, music can certainly show us the way, and with offerings such as Sonic Brotherhood, we're off to a very good start indeed.
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