rec. August 1997
A student of the legendary Syrian bass player François Rabbath, 5-string virtuoso Renaud Garcia-Fons is of Spanish and French descent splitting his time between both countries/cultures when he is not on the road throughout Europe. He is known as "a bassist with astonishing technique" whose con-arco playing has "a quality more reminiscent of the viola or the cello" (L.A. Times). Influenced not only by jazz and classical music but also by oriental, African and Spanish traditions, Renaud's unique artistry led to exciting and successful collaborations with such open-minded players as Rabih Abou-Khalil, Nguyen Lê, Gérard Marais, Pedro Soler, Jean-Louis Matinier and Michael Riessler.
Following his solo recording "Légendes" and the quartet album "Alboreá" (both of which received highest ratings from critics all over the world), Renaud's east-western synthesis comes to a climax on "Oriental Bass". Says Renaud: "I had a dream about a bass - half Gypsy, half Mauretanian - that travelled from India to Andalusia passing by the Mediterranean north or south. The bass is neither a traditional nor an oriental instrument. But its range of sonorities and the ways it is played upon - both pizzicato and con arco - seem to make it feel comfortable in the neighbourhood of certain instruments at home in the oriental world. For several years now my work - composing and improvising - has been led by these relationships and by the love the bass brings to all of this music. This is how the idea for this album was born."
Assisted by a wide variety of musicians and instruments from diverse ethnic background, Renaud's visionary masterwork "Oriental Bass" is definitely a highlight of 1997's cross-cultural vintage. "Garcia-Fons' music exists in a space of its own beyond jazz, world beat or any other category" (Larry Katz).
Renaud Garcia-Fons on ENJA:
ENJ-9057 2 Alboreá / ENJ-9314 2 Légendes / ENJ-9364 2 Fuera
Some other recordings by