THE LIFE LONG DAY DREAMER
The commitment to the moment must be absolute, but once there the process can be like taking dictation. The improviser just has to get out of the way, not break the spell, and listen to the music. Solo bass improvisations have been a favoured format of Elsen Price for some years, and with this double live album recorded at the height of the lockdown last year, it was a practical option, too. He performs on both double and electric bass, commanding the two instruments with such easy virtuosity as puts no constraints on the dictation’s flow, while imaginatively using looping without making it the default option.
Indeed the music is not only as fascinating, but also as multi-layered, without relying on technology, thanks to Price’s streams of lyricism and his infinite ways of sculpting each note’s shape and manipulating its timbre – including, of course, deploying his magnificent arco as well as pizzicato playing. He also has a keen sense of not letting an idea’s duration tip from tension into predictability. If anyone doubts the completeness of a solo bass album, just listen to the likes of Majestic Lizard Thing, Descent and The Sea Parted and the Earth Opened, and be converted.