Venue Details

Berkeley City Club
Between Ellsworth and Dana 2315 Durant Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704
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Rated by 8 members
Review from Mangohappiness
81 events 14 reviews

Interesting, rockin' use of the Chamber Music format. Check them out on MySpace!

reviewed Nov 27 2007 report as inappropriate
Mark Kornmann
Review from Mark Kornmann
10 events 6 reviews

Good venue with good acoustics, but the old wooden folding chairs on which we sat were a bit uncomfortable. They play a wide array of musical genres as advertised. Some numbers were on the esoteric side, but all were quite musically interesting -...continued

reviewed Nov 27 2007 report as inappropriate
Review from CultureVulture
16 events 5 reviews

The sax-like bass clarinet has too narrow a range to support interesting compositions and ensemble performances.

reviewed Nov 27 2007 report as inappropriate
View All 7 Reviews
More Information


Edmund Welles: The Bass Clarinet Quartet has the distinction of being the world’s only original, composing band of four bass clarinetists. They invent and perform heavy chamber music. The bass clarinet has a 5 octave range and a huge span of tonal, melodic, and rhythmic capabilities. Since 1996, Cornelius Boots has led and composed for Edmund Welles, which received a Chamber Music America Grant in 2004 for the creation of Agrippa’s 3 Books, a multi-movement work inspired by occult philosophy and heavy metal music. This piece is featured on their debut album of the same title [mixed and mastered by Grammy-award winning sound alchemist Oz Fritz] and the piece was premiered in 2005 on both coasts, including a performance at John Zorn’s new NYC venue The Stone, which made All About Jazz NYC’s Top Ten Performances of 2005. The album also made the Top Ten Albums of 2005, along with artists such as Wayne Shorter and Peter Brotzmann.

Drawing virtuosic precision from the classical realm; innovation and texture from jazz; and power, rhythm and overall perspective from rock and metal, the quartet’s sound is characterized by a thickness of tone, a density of texture, absolute rhythmic precision, and the extreme use of dynamic contrasts: a dense, pulsing sound capable of expressing and reflecting the full range of human emotions. The quartet is like Tony Iommi, Wendy Carlos, Les Claypool and Howlin Wolf playing blackjack against Eric Dolphy. It was originally founded on two principles: the bass clarinet can achieve a virtually unlimited range of sounds, and when this same instrumental voice is multiplied, it can be as powerful as a boogie woogie piano, a gospel quartet or a rock band. Indeed the very first arrangements were of the Swan Silvertones, Montana Taylor and the Pixies. The originals compositions have evolved into a style unique unto themselves while maintaining a stylistic consistency at their core, and the arrangements conquered by the quartet now include Black Sabbath and Sepultura songs.

There is no precedent for a wind-based ensemble such as this attempting to build these massive bridges between avant jazz, new music, black metal and classic rock. Those with truly open ears will be ready for this sound and will understand the sounds. With the help of our Bay Area friends and colleagues such as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, the Kehoe Nation, and Rube Waddell we are finding and collecting these open-minded listeners.

Winners of the 2nd place in the International Songwriters Competition “Instrumental” Category for the title track of their upcoming album “Tooth & Claw.”

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