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Dominic Duval

Don’t be misleaded by appearences. Dominic Duval can seem a heavy-weight boxeur, but he plays his double bass with the delicacy of a little spider. And that even when he breaks loose and things get serious, like in the years when he backed Cecil Taylor, the most physical of all pianists. His C.T. String Quartet (later renamed Pyramid String Quartet because people assumed the inclusion of the musician who inspired them) trades punch for a chamber-like feeling, and making a statement is less important for him in this context than turning complexity into an aparently simple “modus operandi”. Playing pieces named “Rectal Parasites” and “Another Fucking Jazz Quartet”, like he does in the company of trumpeter Herb Robertson, trombonist Bob Hovey and drummer Jay Rosen, could make us expect some kind of metal-jazz fusion similar to the one John Zorn proposed ten years ago with his Naked City project, but no, the group isn’t agressive and raged. On the contrary, there’s even a lyrical side in this music. In his starts, the intention of young and ambicious Duval was to play with John Coltrane. The desire to perform with the greats kept him “motivated to be the best player that I could be”, as he confessed in an interview, and the association with Taylor allowed him to do precisely that. He played already with two other of his heroes, Bill Dixon and Joe McPhee (he even founded a group with the multi-instrumentalist, Trio X), and the next of his objectives is to meet Sam Rivers in some stage. Meanwhile, he’s doing some great music with reedmen Mark Whitecage and Ivo Perelman, respectively. No wonder he likes to be around saxophonists – “Duval rapidly taps, fingers and strums within the improvisational activity of his collaborators like he was playing tenor sax”, some critic wrote about his personal style.

Dominic Duval's records on clean feed
Black on White
Ivo Perelman Trio
Plaza de Toros
James Finn Trio
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