Personnel: Mark Dresser (double bass); Denman Maroney (piano).
Liner Note Author: Fred Frith.
Recording information: Studio Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY (11/25/2000).
Editor: Jim Hemingway.
Photographer: Martin Morissette.
Mark Dresser's first bassline on Duologues is a very jazzy one, but do not be fooled: This CD is one of his most adventurous from this period. Thanks should go to Denman Maroney, a very peculiar pianist who forced the bassist to reinvent himself. Over the years, Maroney developed a highly personal musical language focused on the inner resonances of his instrument. Even when considered from the angle of prepared piano playing, his approach remains unique. He does not exploit defects, mishaps, and accidental resonances of objects placed on the strings, but frees a whole new kind of poetry from the wood and strings of the instrument by moving bowls around, bending strings, and working simultaneously inside and outside the instrument. Dresser was inspired by the pianist's art and complemented his playing beautifully, extending his own techniques and concentrating a lot more on resonance himself, as can be heard on "Fanfare for the Rare Woman," "Oscicaglia," and "Bozcaada." The duo chose to play short improvisations, from one to eight minutes long, a decision with beautiful consequences. The sonorities don't have a chance to become tiresome: When a piece ends, the listener is left still wondering how such sounds could emanate from a piano and/or a bass. Duologues makes a very nice companion to Maroney's 2000 CD with guitarist Hans Tammen (Billabong, on Potlatch). As for Dresser, this album contains some of his best playing in years. This is not the live concert these two gave at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in May 2000, but a studio session recorded six months later. ~ Fran‡ois Couture