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Barry Guy – bass and piccolo bass

"For a complete contrast, Guy played five short improvisations he called Fizzles. Adding to his impressively varied repertoire of plucked and bowed sounds, he used a whole table full of paintbrushes and drumsticks, even the kind of wire brush that swing drummers use to create a soft wash for a romantic ballad. He performed the piece at breakneck pace, his hands moving over the entire course of the five-string bass from scroll to tailpiece in a blur, hands and fingers flashing like stroboscopic lightning bolts. Even more incredible than this display of superb athleticism, the music that came out was intelligible, intricate and altogether fascinating."

Stephen Pederson, Halifax, Nov. 1999

"... For those who may harbor the misconception that solo bass recordings are somehow monochromatically monotonous or limited in scope, Fizzles offers compelling evidence to the contrary. Barry Guy has given us one of the most fascinating improvised bass recordings in recent memory. Not for the timid, but it pays huge dividends for the adventurous listener whose ears are open."

Carl Baugher, Cadence

"... Barry Guy’s desire to break down the barrier between instrument and musician is best experienced by hearing Fizzles on headphones, which will bring you closer to/inside the instrument's gigantic vibrating body. This is virtuosic technique at one with a highly expressive imagination."

Chris Blackford

"Anyone who has seen Guy performing live will know that the double bass bequeathed to us by centuries of musical history is only the foundation of his instrument. He expands its forms, and his playing methods, by any means necessary: specially carved false bridges, brushes, mallets and amplification all come into play as Guy wrestles with his bass, and his body. It makes an immensely exciting visual display. While that aspect of a Guy performance is missing from Fizzles, his immense musicality is not. Nor is his slyly playful humour. The range of sound Guy gets from his instruments would make Mingus mutter, but the sound is always subject to the immediate logic of the moment. Fizzles is an exhilarating display of one musician's pursuit of that logic, wherever it leads him.

Nick Kimberley