Friday, February 24, 2012

B∆SSx3 REVIEW number two

Bass Heaven Is Here on Earth

For fans of low tonalities, BassX3′s new album Transatlantic is heaven. It’s the second one from multi-reedman Gebhard Ullmann (who plays bass clarinet and bass flute) with bassists Chris Dahlgren and Clayton Thomas. To call this the best jazz album of the year so far invites all kinds of arguments – after all, can a recording this opaque, rhythmically inchoate and impossibly esoteric be much more than a curio? Absolutely! Whether you consider this free jazz, ambient music or indie classical, it’s a rich, murky masterpiece. Its centerpiece is the title track, an epic, 33-minute three-part suite. The low drone of the two basses being bowed in tandem builds a chocolatey mist laced with overtones, with the occasional creak, thud or rattle, evoking the hum of the diesels and maybe a hammock swaying in a stateroom. You could call it the Titanic Theme – from the point of view of passengers in steerage, anyway. Ulllmann, as usual, doesn’t limit himself to any preconceived tonalities, offering a blithely whistling microtonal solo in the first segment as the bassists rattle the occasional random household item like ghosts flitting through the sonic frame.

The other tracks here are just as enjoyable and much less static. The Thing features burbling, echoey twin basses with the bass clarinet wandering the moors, off to the side; then the basses back away, leaving Ullmann prowling contentedly, centerstage. The No Place has the bass flute looming pensive and minimalistic over jagged, distantly percussive bass chords and atonal accents and the occasional jarring pluck of a string: an Asian-tinged horror film score for before the point where the suspense reaches the level of a scream. The aptly titled Epic layers minutely wavering bass flute over a rather menacing backdrop of overtones and low washes; then the group all go spiraling around in what sounds like the bottom of a well before returning to a lusciously droning rumble that Ullmann uses as a long launching pad for some unexpectedly energetic low bass clarinet work. Ornette’s Closet contrasts brightly bouncing clarinet over echoey low-register playfulness; the diptych Berlin Is Full of Lonely People, a desolate, brooding tone poem, is the most melodically memorable track here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Howdy Partners - March 2 & 3, 2012

VIERDUO festival

Friday, March 2, 2012
21:00 UHR

Thomas Lehn, analogue synthesizer
Clayton Thomas, double bass

Weisestrasse 24,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Powercut ::
Andy Moor (the Ex) - guitar,
Marcela Giesche - dance
Clayton Thomas - double bass

Dock 11,
Kastanienallee 79,



JON ROSE, violins
MIKE MAJKOWSKI, double bass
CLAYTON THOMAS, double bass


BRITTA PUDELKO - physical architecture

a night of collaborative action in 3D

21:00 UHR
5 EURO entry

Weisestrasse 24, Neukolln

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just out this week...

This Germany-based trio artfully expresses the lower register realm, framed on a program that enables the musicians to share equal ground and incorporate a concentrated focus, cloaking a major portion of the album. With growling basses, sinewy arco-passages and the use of objects to alter sounds and provide an ethereal framework, the musicians uncannily tender motifs that could sometimes allude to the use of background electronics. In a sense, the trio plays tricks with your psyche, abetted by darkly resonating notes and supple passages. They often intimate a sacred rite of passage amid several spikes and interconnecting movements, signaling understated buoyancy.

While playing the bass flute, Gebhard Ullmann amid the bassists' shrewd use of space and contrasting effects, conjure notions of a solemn vista, including delicate treatments and hallowing auras. On various pieces, the musicians radiate craggy tones, complemented by otherworldly extended notes and dense frameworks. Armed with a consortium of concepts, they touch upon minimalism and offset the undulating currents with lashing breakouts.

The piece titled "Berlin is Full of Lonely People (Part One)" is aggressive and inward-looking. They present striking disparities encapsulated by Ullmann's haunting flute phrasings and the bassists' angular statements. Here, they navigate through darkness as blithe settings coalesce with fleeting themes. And at various points throughout the set, they inject a coarse edge where Ullmann's bass clarinet work serves an instigator and prompts the slicing and dicing three-way interactions.

As it might be anticipated, the artists do not simply indulge in wanton cacophony or purposeless improvisation. Hence, it's a cohesive engagement that digs deep into the soul and proposes a surfeit of compelling persuasions.

March 8 - 10, 2012 ARTACTS St Johann

The Ames Room:
Jean-Luc Guionnet, alto saxophone
Clayton Thomas, double bass
Will Guthrie, drums


The Jazz Workshop Big Band from HELL!!!!!!!,15499,type,content.html

do it!

Comeback Special...February 12, 2012

Vesna Pisarovic, voice
Steve Heather, drums
Clayton Thomas, double bass
Gerhard Gschlossl, trombone

Reconstituting the music of Elvis Presley

Jazz klub Schwaz
Innsbruckerstrasse 14, A-6130 Schwaz

Denmark - February 16, 2012

Lotte Anker, saxophones
Paul Lovens, drums
Johannes Bauer, trombone
Clayton Thomas, double bass

Vinterjazz festival

Møllegade 7
2200 København N

February Dance-Marathon

Friday, February 10, 2012

5 and 10 euro


Saturday, February 11, 2012

22:00 Uhr

Christian Loclair (aka Prince Mio) popper / breaker
Clayton Thomas (aka Big Daddy Clay) bass breaker

For lovers of fine hip hop.

10 euro