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During the '90s, Dominic Duval was one of the two most active bassists on New York's free jazz scene (the other being William Parker). Few musicians are more dedicated to the principles of free improvisation than Duval. While he reads adequately and is capable of playing other jazz idioms, absolute freedom of expression is paramount in Duval's art. He has a prodigious technique; Duval plays the bass like an elongated guitar, so fast are his lines and textures. He seldom plays the traditional role of a bassist in an ensemble. Rather than provide a low-pitched harmonic/rhythmic foundation, Duval more often than not plays like a horn player, interacting freely with other members of the ensemble. Duval's recording career didn't begin in earnest until he was around 50, but he's spent the years since making up for lost time. He has unquestionably become one of the most-recorded free jazz bassists on the planet. Beginning in the mid-'90s, an association with producer Bob Rusch's C.I.M.P. and Cadence Jazz labels and producer Leo Feigin's Leo Records led to Duval's appearances on an extraordinary number of albums. It can even be said that the sheer volume of his recordings has worked against him, in that few of his albums can be called essential; virtually everything Duval's recorded presents him in a positive light, yet there's so much to choose from, one hardly knows where to begin. One place might be Nightbird Inventions, a solo disc made for Cadence Jazz on which Duval electronically manipulates the bass to fascinating ends. Other collaborations of note include the band Trio X, a cooperative trio with saxophonist Joe McPhee and drummer Jay Rosen, and his various projects with the shamefully underrated saxophonist Mark Whitecage. Duval has also recorded and toured intermittently as a member of pianist Cecil Taylor's band.