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"The Marks Brothers"


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The Marks Brothers dig down, dig in, and dig up a rich music from the depths of that most noble of instruments, the double bass. Compositions, spirited improvisations and pure musicality are what these two masters, Mark Dresser and Mark Helias, bring to their first duo CD for W.E.R.F. Homages include two for the comedic masters, Chico and Zeppo Marx, a suite from the film of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, "Un Chien Andalou"and an homage to Ed Thigpen and Lester Bowie. The music is jazz, it is classical, it is experimental, it is modern, it is now!

"The Marks Brothers"-De Werf W.E.R.F
This album features two American bass players called Mark. Marks Dresser and Helias have made important contribututions to the avant-garde music scene over the past couple of decades, and now they use their extensive knowledge of classical, jazz and free music to great effect in this fascinating duo. They share the compositional credits, but there is a great deal of extended improvisation within each piece. Both use pizzicato and arco techniaques as well as numerous other ways of attacking their basses. Tuneful passages of written counterpoint are interspersed with free improvisation and plenty of glissandos, and the players use of chords and harmonics is very effective. Dresser and Helias are formidable players with highly inventive minds and a good understanding of each other's music. Both bassist achieve a strong and rather similar sound quality. Both make their instruments sing melodically when required and they accompany each other with rhythmic solidity. It positively swings at times and the almost telepathic dialogues between the two are mesmerising.
The Marks Brothers brilliantly demonstrate some of the amazing things that can be done with our instrument, and that its range stylistic and technical possibilities is still expanding. But don't let the thought of two basses on the own put you off. For the adventurours listener, The Marks Brothers is a
complete and rewarding musical experience, not a double bass ego trip.

The Double Bassist