ALEXANDER FRANGENHEIM – The Knife Again

Creative Sources

Double bassist and sculptor Frangenheim possesses an impressive curriculum, having worked with a large number of advocators of modern-day instrumental sapience (Cecil Taylor, Christian Weber and Walter & Sabrina come to mind). This CD from a couple of years ago is a valid assertion of his individual value, seventeen tracks – several of them quite short, nearly aphoristic – executed with inspired confidence financed by a manifest deftness. Many albums for solo bass have been published in the last decades; the instrument is a constant source of fantastic sounds if handled by the right species of modest virtuoso. Frangenheim surely belongs in the domain of the finest inventive instrumentalists I’ve heard of late. Concisely cryptic, and yet rich in improvisational visions and timbral variety, all we hear appears as a temporal arrangement of firm, almost calculated gestures, radical values intertwined within fascinating technical permutations. The entire palette is exploited with critical balance, nary an acoustic shade getting wasted. An educated awareness of the relationships between the bareness of empty space and the tones that are destined to inhabit it allows the music to breathe and expand, sober elegance easily meshed with the correct dosage of lawlessness. An excellent release from an artist whose work should be exposed to wider audiences.

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