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Dominic Duval

b. USA. Active on the New York free jazz scene since the 60s, bass player Duval swiftly established a high reputation among his peers. In the late 90s, owing to several well-received albums, his name had become much better known to international audiences. He has worked notably with Cecil Taylor and Joe McPhee, as well as with musicians such as pianists Matthew Goodheart, Mark Whitecage and Adam Makowicz, drummers John Heward and Jay Rosen, the latter being a particular favourite collaborator of Duval's, saxophonists Ivo Perelman, Glenn Spearman and Chris Kelsey, violinist Jason Hwang and the Amici String Quartet. He performed with the semi-classical group, the Manhattan Improvisers Chamber Ensemble, which included Rosen, Dom Minasi (guitar), Eleanor Amlin (vocals), John Gunther (reeds), and Rod Thomas (violin). Immensely talented and possessing a formidable technique, Duval has also recorded solo bass albums, Nightbird Inventions and Anniversary. His bands include the C.T. String Quartet (named for Taylor), the Equinox Trio, an experimental improvisatory group in which he is joined by Hwang, Ron Lawrence (viola), and Tomas Ulrich (cello), and he is particularly striking in his numerous appearances in duos, with, for example, Hwang and Goodheart. For some of his work, Duval draws upon concepts outside music. Under The Pyramid is a paean to the people of Mexico, and Duval has also expressed through his music his solidarity with Native Americans. Demanding of audiences, intellectually unsettling and emotionally profound, Duval's often unpredictable music is always close to, and at times is beyond, the cutting edge of jazz. Throughout his recorded work, and notwithstanding his remarkable technical gifts, it is clear that his playing is always subservient to the needs of the group and the music they perform. Among the instruments Duval plays is a Hutchings bass, designed and built by Carleen Hutchings. These instruments have electronically tuned top and back plates, a device that creates the sonority of a vintage, seasoned instrument although they are newly made. This richness of sound is a decided asset to Duval's playing because, throughout his recorded canon, he constantly and consistently demonstrates the brooding intensity that is a hallmark of his approach to jazz.

SELECTED Discography:

with Michael Jefry Stevens Elements (Leo 1995)***,
Nightbird Inventions (Cadence 1997)*****, with Jay Rosen Wedding Band (CIMP 1997)***,
Equinox (Leo 1997)***,
State Of The Art (CIMP 1997)***,
The Navigator (Leo 1998)****,
Live In Concert (Cadence 1998)***,
with Joe McPhee, Jay Rosen The Watermelon Suite (CIMP 1998)****,
with McPhee, Rosen, Rosi Hertlein Rapture (Cadence 1998)***,
with Jason Hwang The Experiment (Blue Jackal 1999)***,
Anniversary (CIMP 1999)***,
Under The Pyramid (Leo 1999)***,
with McPhee The Dream Book (Cadence 1999)***,
with McPhee, Mike Bisio, Joe Giardullo In The Spirit (CIMP 1999)***,
with McPhee, Giardullo, Bisio No Greater Love (CIMP 2000)***,
with McPhee, John Heward Undersound (Leo 2000)***,
with Matthew Goodheart Crossings (Cadence 2000)***,
Asylem (Leo 2001)***
Rules os Engagement w/ Mark Whitecage
Drimala 347 (2003)

Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2002

Nightbird Inventions
Cadence Jazz

The Navigator
Leo Records (Jazz) - (Import)

Leo Records (Jazz) - (Import)

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dominic Duval
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