A different bass idea: “OndaM” by Alessandro Fedrigo, Record Y, 2022
Onda M | Alessandro Fedrigo (bandcamp.com)
Bassist, composer, improviser, artistic director, record producer. Alessandro Fedrigo is a person with many faces and many roles, and he seems to play them all very well. His curriculum includes a practically infinite series of concerts and tours in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Holland, Slovenia, Croatia, England, Switzerland, Serbia, Luxembourg. He is co leader with Nicola Fazzini of XYQuartet, with this formation he has recorded five CDs for the nusica.org label. Since 2011 he has been president and founder of the association and independent Italian record label nusica.org, and the artistic director of the SILE JAZZ concert series held in the summer in Treviso. In 2020 he was awarded by the Italian Jazz Federation for the best artistic direction and was part of the triad of artistic directors of Il Jazz Italiano per le Terre del Sisma held in L’Aquila. Since 2021 he has been President of MIDJ – the Italian Association of Jazz Musicians.
Simultaneously with this endless harvest of activity, he has been carrying out an interesting solo activity for some time by publishing two CDs “Solitario” (nusica.org)
and “Secondo Solitario,” which were critically acclaimed.
This “OndaM” continues on this exploratory journey, however moving according to new, electronic, trajectories. One of the interesting aspects of Fedrigo is that he seems to have remained one of the few fretless bassists around. After undergoing unprecedented success in the 80s thanks to the genius of Jaco Pastorius, this instrument has suffered an undeserved decline; a real shame because it offers truly unique tonal possibilities and nuances. This type of instrument, in fact, allows more nuances than the traditional bass, glissando, vibrato, and that typical sound of the fretless bass (similar to a meow) which made it become a solo instrument, removing from the bass that role of accompanist which it had been until before its advent on the music scene. All features well exploited by Fedrigo in his first two CDs. Perhaps something jammed in the instrument/musician relationship, perhaps the mellow sound of the bass was no longer enough, perhaps Fedrigo simply felt the need to go beyond the ‘simple’ virtuosic skill on the instrument, and thus “Onda M” was born. The title already foreshadows something different, a modern, technological, perhaps futuristic role. And it’s true, in this cd the bass takes on a completely different role. The result of a careful work of creating textures and sound backdrops obtained with field recordings, home conversations, software-based sabotage, “OndaM” offers an unusual landscape onto which the curved lines of Fedrigo’s fretless bass are grafted. Through eleven tracks, whose titles seem taken from a software manual, Fedrigo creates a cyberpunk landscape through which his bass reinvents itself every time, seeking a different language with which to interact with sound bases that seem to have just been produced by the algid aesthetics of Kraftwerk. “OndaM” is an interesting album, innovative for the use of electric bass and explored sounds. The artistic career of Alessandro Fedrigo extends by another piece.
“At some point I started recording sounds that were around me, often noises coming from the house or conversations, life moments, and I put them in compositions and electronic improvisations. It’s amazing to discover new sonic worlds using software and field recordings and then come back to them and improvise over them with my bass. My sonic research in this filed is only at the beginning stages, but I see limitless landscapes with great potentials, both technological and artistic.” Alessandro Fedrigo