Why reviewing a record from 2006? Firstly, it’s an artistically legitimate statement even six years from its release. Secondly, a double bass duo always results in a somewhat clandestine pleasure when gifted players are implicated. And thirdly, I couldn’t manage to find a writeup about Tensid by searching with a lantern, which translated into an undeserved oblivion for an impressive CD. Starting from the basics, Philipp and Wolf recorded the set live in Frankfurt in 2002, in front of a rare example of quiet enough audience. Indeed, attentiveness is essential to enjoy this music, divided into a lengthy improvisation of circa 33 minutes and three shorter encores. The feeling after just a few instants is that of a refined fullness: the pair delivers hard knocks and light strokes, reciprocally engaging in a playscript that warrants enthralment thanks to a systematic emphasizing of the acoustic properties of the basses. While spinning the disc for the first time and attempting to get an idea of how it sounded, the room was soon filled with the scent of old woods exalted by the echoes of a bowed conscientiousness; and yet, the animation of the give-and-take action is sufficient in itself to focus on a lexicon that takes a little bit of everything of the instrument’s modern aspects, without a hint of deference to anything or anyone. The pursuit of a previously unheard lingo should ideally correspond to the primary aim of an improviser; a decade ago, these two fine partners accomplished the mission through a performance imbued with honest severity. Too bad that only a handful of persons saw and heard that.

Posted in Uncategorized