John Clark - french horn David Friedman - vibraharp, marimba David Darling - cello Jon Christensen - drums Recorded April 1980 at Talent Studio, Oslo Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug Produced by Manfred Eicher
Question for the floor: is the bassist
the most selfless of all musicians in a group or band? The image of the bassist
is of the quiet person at the back, keeping the collective together with
metronomic precision rather than flash showiness. Sure, you have your
singer-bassists like Jack Bruce or Melissa Auf der Maur and a few rock bassist
who like a good solo, whether it’s a wise decision or not, but more often than
perhaps is deserved, the bass, even in jazz (with notable exceptions like Scott
LaFaro), keeps to the background and the shadows. Which, if Provenance
by Swedish bassist Björn Meyer is anything to go by, could be a missed
opportunity. Here, using his remarkable talent and either acoustic or electric
bass, Meyer reveals the depths of his instrument of choice’s sensitive range.
One day in 1961 an 18-year-old German music student named Manfred Eicher descended the steps of the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village to hear the pianist Bill Evans, the bassist Scott LaFaro and the drummer Paul Motian. Breaking away from the conventions, they were pursuing an ideal of improvisation as a continuous three-way conversation. Inspired by what he heard, Eicher would go on to found the ECM label, dedicated to jazz as chamber music.