It was snowing heavily, and Robert Ryman had just passed. I had a nice drive to the venue, arrived early, had a fantastic espresso, and read a small catalogue on Ryman, aptly titled Variations + Improvisations. Ryman once said about his music, "I wanted to compose: to compose with my instrument, to find all the things you can do with the instrument. In that respect it's related to painting." He went on to leave music and find out what could be done with the color white and the square format. I want to find out what can be done with the double bass.
I approached this concert with the idea to work towards a solo recording. I wanted something definitive, an overview of my work as it stands. I think it captured that. A solo is something I've put off for years, something that would always "be better later." I love the idea of solo bass. I've played many concerts, I own most available solo bass recordings and I love doing it. It has always been easier to make albums with others. The music recorded at this concert is a good place to start.
The cafe sounds are as much a part of improvised music as pure silence, so no effort was made to remove them.
Damon Smith, April, 2019
released April 27, 2019
Damon Smith - double bass
Recorded live at Cafe Fixe, February 12, 2019 in Brookline, Massachusetts