Mark Dresser-Biography

Mark Dresser has a his own web site check it out

"You've got to pity Dresser's poor bass-you wouldn't treat a dog the way he manhandles his instrument. But the gnarled tones and vicious swing he tortures out of it are worth the abuse. In Dresser's slanted compositions, the jazz tradition is only so much grist for the mill." The New Yorker, August 18, 1997

Mark Dresser has been composing and performing solo contrabass and ensemble music professionally since 1972 throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. His own projects include Mark Dresser's "Force Green," and the Mark Dresser Trio, performing his music for the French Surrealist film masterpiece of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, "Un Chien Andalou" as well as the German expressionist silent film classic, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari".

Additional original solo bass music was composed for the New York Shakespeare Festival Production of HENRY VI. Collaborative projects include "The Double Trio" comprised of the "Arcado String Trio" and the Trio du Clarinettes.

He was commissioned by the Banliues Bleues Festival in Paris to premier Dresser's composition "Bosnia", later recorded on CD by the "Double Trio" as "Green Dolphy Street" on ENJA. A founding member of the Arcado String Trio, he also received a commission from WDR Radio of Cologne, Germany in 1991 to compose "For Not the Law," an extended work for string trio and orchestra. Released on CD by JMT, "For Three Strings and Orchestra," is the third of five CD's recorded by Arcado. In 1992, Dresser composed and performed "Armadillo," for Arcado and the WDR Big Band. In 1995, "The Banquet," a double concert for various flutes and contrabass with string quartet was written and commissioned by Swiss flute virtuoso Matthias Ziegler. "Invocation," on Knitting Factory Works is the most recent CD of Dresser's contrabass music.

Dresser, a virtuoso contrabass player has performed and recorded with many of the luminaries of 'new' jazz composition and improvisation. For ten years he performed with the Anthony Braxton Quartet, as well as diverse groups led by Ray Anderson, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Gerry Hemingway, John Zorn, and others. He has made over sixty recordings.

He has received grants from New York Foundation for the Arts and Meet the Composer, He holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music from U.C. San Diego where he studied contrabass with the seminal virtuoso of twentieth century performance practice, Maestro Bertram Turetzky. He was awarded a 1983 Fulbright Fellowship for advanced contrabass study with Maestro Franco Petracchi.

 

QUOTES:

"Mark Dresser is an inventor. He also may be the most important bassist to emerge since 1980 in jazz or classical music." Boston Herald, February 1, 1998

"He has proven to be one of the master bassists of modern jazz, perhaps even the most exciting. ...his improvisational fecundity was remarkable for its veritable ensemble-in miniature, in which every orchestral maneuver can be deployed to advantage... Dresser's rhythmic mooring, melodic liquidity, and timbral hues showed how sanguinely he absorbs and adapts available contexts, emotionally and generically. The almost palpable physicality of his pizzicato slaps and pedal plunging, the luxuriant tremolos of his arco passages and refrains, were as identifiable as the calling cues we associate with elder bass paragons." San Diego Reader

"Mark Dresser awed the assembly with his compositions for solo bass-no one expected to be nailed to the floor by one guy with a four-string." Los Angeles Times

"You've got to pity Dresserís poor bass-you wouldnít treat a dog the way he manhandles his instrument. But the gnarled tones and vicious swing he tortures out of it are worth the abuse. In Dresser's slanted compositions, the jazz tradition is only so much grist for the mill." The New Yorker, August 18, 1997

"Mr. Dresser, who constantly drove the group forward with his full, wide- bodied sound, would solo, hammering strings with both hands, creating the sound of several basses playing at once." N.Y. Times

"To an experienced reviewer, it doesn't happen too often that the music makes you speechless. It might be due to the genre of the silent movie that its music is hard to verbalize, maybe the film itself can possibly describe this wonderful music. Mark Dresser not only pays homage to a great German movie and its expressionist director, Robert Wiene, but also makes a statement about Neo-Nationalism and the current ethnic cleansing all over the world...This is the masterpiece of a masterful musician..."JazzThetik on Mark Dresser's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" * * * * *

"Dresser has a heroic sound and his double-, triple-, and quadruple-stopped glisses are stunning. ...he should sustain his position as one of the few virtuosos of so-called avant-garde jazz." Village Voice

"Mark Dresser - Promethean bass-playing powers one of the heaviest bands on the scene...Dresser consistently astonishes with his range of ideas and effects, not to mention his towering beat." Wire Magazine.

"Mr. Dresser, who constantly drove the group forward with his full, wide-bodied sound, would solo, hammering strings with both hands, creating the sound of several basses playing at once." N.Y. Times

"He has proven to be one of the master bassists of modern jazz, perhaps even the most exciting. ...his improvisational fecundity was remarkable for its veritable ensemble-in-miniature, in which every orchestral maneuver can be deployed to advantage... Dresser=s rhythmic mooring, melodic liquidity, and timbral hues showed how sanguinely he absorbs and adapts available contexts, emotionally and generically. The almost palpable physicality of his pizzicato slaps and pedal plunging, the luxuriant tremolos of his arco passages and refrains, were as identifiable as the calling cues we associate with elder bass paragons." San Diego Reader

"Mark Dresser awed the assembly with his compositions for solo bass-no one expected to be nailed to the floor by one guy with a four-string." Los Angeles Times

"In terms of the soloist/accompaniment dichotomy, Dresser explodes the notion of the bass as both single instrument and back-up instrument. His arco work takes on a progressively seamless singing quality while occasional overdubs allow pizzicato dancing around the bowed slipstream. Thus glissandi and pitch shifts are pocked and plunked and shoved in a sometimes delirious display of talent. But even when it's Dresser alone, sans overdubs, he's a feverish, fast-moving string group unto himself...I count this among the best anti-virtuosic solo recordings to date. Anti-virtuosic playing is, of course, historically a function of interrogating the inherited history of technique and beauty, and here Dresser presents an alarmingly tense and exciting technique and a sense of beauty as something not simply or clearly or calmly related but rather something for which all involved must work." Andrew Bartlett -5/4 Magazine (Review of INVOCATION on Knitting Factory Works)


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