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The Road Bends Here

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Album Review

Acoustic guitar and string bass might seem like a mild mix, but for all of the sound, intensity, and creativity, you might as well have assembled an entire string orchestra. That's how powerfully Hans Tammen and Dominic Duval project. Duval has a huge inventory of recordings in a wide variety of contexts, but his performances are never tiring due to his seemingly unlimited wealth of ideas. The lesser-known Tammen is no less inventive. He may not make the guitar sing, but he manages to squeeze from it all those missing notes you never thought were there. These fellows pounce on their strings, like cats in heat, drooling with an obsessive, persuasive, often percussive energy that sallies forth like a volcanic eruption. If Tannen had been around in the late 1950s, who would have needed the electric guitar? Ultimately, it is music — strange and beautiful — that this duo makes, and good, compelling music that gets in the bones. If it is abstract or difficult, it is worth the effort.


Born: 27 April 1945 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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 were more dedicated to the principles of free improvisation than Duval. While he read adequately and was capable of playing other jazz idioms, absolute freedom of expression was paramount in Duval's art. He had a prodigious technique; Duval played the bass like an elongated guitar, so fast were his lines and textures. He seldom played the traditional...
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The Road Bends Here, Dominic Duval
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