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Contrabass virtuoso Bert Turetzky joined forces with Chuck Perrin to present a night of bass and poetry -- specifically the works of Pablo Neruda and Jack Kerouac -- to a large and attentive audience on June 14 at Dizzy's in Pacific Beach.

The first set concentrated on the more romantic works of Neruda, as Perrin began "Love Sonnet 43," with earnest, well timed delivery over Turetzky's improvised lines, which plumbed deep wells of resonance from bow and fingers.

A rubbery pizzicato set up Perrin's narration of "Poem 53," matching intentions with warm glissandi and loaded double-stops. The stark erotica of Neruda's "Love Sonnet 11," picked up fire and fervor as Turetzky underpinned Perrin's recitation of lines like "I hunger for your fingernails," with plaintive bowing in the low register.

The Kerouac set began with "292," with slow, open strings followed by triple stops and pedal tones, and "197th Chorus," burned with Pentecostal overtones and irresistible blues motion.

Turetzky chose to perform alone on "Deadbelly," crisscrossing his measured recitation with hammered single notes separating lugubrious phrases culled from the gutbucket. Perrin returned for "213," bouncing syllables in reply to the slapping bow and eerie ponticello of Turetzky.

The excitement quotient ratcheted up to a level of delirium when Bob Weller and Charles Weller came to the stage on piano and drums, respectively, for a full band effort on "Old Western Movies," which grooved along with a "cowpoke" beat as Perrin almost sang the lines a la Tom Waits.

Turetzky's discordant intervals informed Bob Weller's Twilight Zone meets Cecil Taylor harmonies and young Weller's percussive arrhythmia on "211," while Perrin got animated into dramatic vowel-twisting.

Bob Weller's composed backdrop of a portion of "On The Road," found him pounding swinging punctuation as Turetzky turned the bow into a crazy dynamo before morphing into a trio lockstep of 4/4 powered by the figure-eight motion of Charlie Weller's brushes, while Perrin whipped Kerouac's phrasing into spirals of howled incantation.

Successful on every possible level.

Photo by Michael Klayman

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