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Dominic Duval/John Heward/Joe McPhee: Undersound

One of Duval’s signature traits is his reluctance to grandstand his prodigious technique. Preferring to highlight the musical heart of a piece, the bassist mutes the acrobatics in favor of color, rhythm and profound note placement. His brilliance continuously emerges as he uncannily adapts to different configurations and variations of style. Undersound features two solo-bass tracks, along with a deceptively simple trio that includes saxophonist Joe McPhee and drummer John Heward on the other eight. All three musicians are in top form, with a resplendent unity emerging from understated, though not underdeveloped, conversations that are rarely less than fascinating. Heward is a powerhouse on drums, eliciting refined timbres. McPhee, too, is a perfect participant: his soprano sings against Duval’s alternatively mellifluous and scratchy voices.

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