LC   10292
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Cover GROB536
Joe Williamson - The Ungrateful Carjacker (02.2003)

It has become quite commonplace that, since the solo albums from Peter Kowald, Barry Guy or William Parker, not only has the contrabass been emancipated, but also accepted as an equal instrument in improvisation, and recognized as a solo instrument. Nonetheless, solo bass recordings are considered unwieldy-one is simply too accustomed to perceiving the bass as an accompanying instrument, responsible for the solid foundation of the groove.
Living in Berlin, the young Canadian Joe Williamson is at the moment THE bassist of the European Improv and Free Jazz scene. He plays with Sven-Åke Johansson in Hudson Riv- and in the Candy-Trio (soon out on GROB), he can be heard in Tobias Delius' Quartet, he is a member in Leonid Soybelman's Kletka Red, Thomas Borgmann's Boom Box and Martin Siewert's Trapist, he plays in duo with Olaf Rupp, and can be heard again and again in groups with the drummer Tony Buck, and sometimes he is invited by Eugene Chadbourne to play in his European trio (GROB321). No question about it, Williams is working a lot, a "typical" bassist: flexible, powerful and virtuosic.
Joe Williamson is also an excellent soloist. The Ungrateful Carjacker is his solo debut-his entirely playful rich dark drones suddenly manifest themselves, as does a hidden groove, or a deep pulse that holds everything together. In the decisive moment, there are also suggestions of tradition.
The Ungrateful Carjacker is a thoroughly rich record. It does not define bass playing anew, but accentuates it. Joe Williamson is able to overcome well known techniques and equally well known idioms. His improvisations are so sure of themselves, so round, that they have the character of compositions.

Joe Williamson (also on GROB321, GROB542)

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