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Not Gone, Not Forgotten by Rothko

I know virtually zip/nada/bupkis about this trio known as Rothko, except they’re British and they all play bass. Their style is almost unclassifiable - their only precedents (that I know of) are the long-lost Bass Is album by Dave Holland, Peter Warren, Jamie Faunt and Glen Moore and the electric bass duo Dos, consisting of Mike Watt and Kira Roessler, and recalls at times style-wise the dense, otherworldly ambient soundscapes of some Bill Laswell albums (especially BL’s superb Invisible Design). The bass(es) express both melody and rhythm (in a textural fashion, not like the trad 4/4 or a groove/funk mode), their massed sound wailing and "singing" a la Eberhard Weber. Their melodies are fluid, modal and haunting as a December day’s fading light. Bass heads be warned: Rothko’s focus is on mood, melody and texture, shade and silence, rather than dazzling displays of technique, though they’ve chops a-plenty. Not Gone, Not Forgotten, a compilation of live tracks from the past 4 years, is an electric bass lover’s dream, assuming said dream goes something like "bass=orchestra conducted by Bernard Herrmann."

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Rothko
  • CD Title: Not Gone, Not Forgotten
  • Genre: Ambient Jazz
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Bubblecore
  • Rating: Four Stars
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