Mark Dresser

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Mark Dresser
Born (1952-09-26)September 26, 1952
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Avant-garde jazz, free improvisation, chamber jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Double bass
Years active 1970s–present
Labels Soul Note, Knitting Factory, Tzadik, Cryptogramophone, Enja, Clean Feed, Pi, CIMP
Associated acts Gerry Hemingway, Ned Rothenberg, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Arcado, Tambastics

Mark Dresser (born 1952, Los Angeles, California) is an American double bass player and composer.


Dresser has performed and recorded with many of the luminaries of "new" jazz composition and improvisation. For ten years he performed with the Anthony Braxton Quartet, as well as diverse groups led by Ray Anderson, Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Anthony Davis, Gerry Hemingway, John Zorn, and others. He has made over sixty recordings.

He has received grants from New York Foundation for the Arts and Meet the Composer, as well as fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri. He holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in music from the University of California, San Diego where he studied contrabass with Bertram Turetzky. He was awarded a 1983 Fulbright Fellowship for advanced contrabass study with Maestro Franco Petracchi.

Dresser has been composing and performing solo contrabass and ensemble music professionally since 1972 throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. His own projects include Mark Dresser's "Force Green," and the Mark Dresser Trio, performing his music for the French surrealist film masterpiece of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, Un chien andalou as well as the German expressionist silent film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Additional original solo bass music was composed for the New York Shakespeare Festival Production of Henry VI. Collaborative projects include The Double Trio, composed of the "Arcado String Trio" and the Trio du Clarinettes.

He was commissioned by the Banliues Bleues Festival in Paris to premier Dresser's composition Bosnia, later recorded by the "Double Trio" as Green Dolphy Street on Enja Records. A founding member of the Arcado String Trio, he also received a commission from WDR Radio of Cologne, Germany in 1991 to compose For Not the Law, an extended work for string trio and orchestra. Released by JMT Records, For Three Strings and Orchestra, is the third of five albums recorded by Arcado. In 1992, Dresser composed and performed Armadillo, for Arcado and the WDR Big Band. In 1995, The Banquet, a double concert for various flutes and contrabass with string quartet was written and commissioned by Swiss flute virtuoso Matthias Ziegler.


As leader[edit]

  • 1993 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Knitting Factory)
  • 1995 Invocation (Knitting Factory)
  • 1997 Banquet (Tzadik)
  • 1997 Eye'll Be Seeing You (Knitting Factory)
  • 1999 Sonomondo (Cryptogramophone)
  • 2000 Marinade (Tzadik)
  • 2001 Reunion: Live at the Guelph Jazz Festival (Intrepid Ear)
  • 2001 Duologues (Intrepid Ear)
  • 2002 Aquifer (Cryptogramophone)
  • 2005 Time Changes with Denman Maroney (Cryptogramophone)
  • 2005 Unveil (Clean Feed)
  • 2009 Deep Tones for Peace (Kadima Collective) CD/DVD
  • 2010 Guts (Kadima Collective) CD/DVD
  • 2013 Nourishments (Clean Feed)

With Arcado String Trio

As sideman[edit]

With Tim Berne

With Jane Ira Bloom

  • The Red Quartets, 1999
  • Sometimes the Magic, 2001
  • Chasing Paint, 2003
  • Like Silver, Like Song, 2004

With Anthony Braxton

With Alex Cline

With Nels Cline

With Marilyn Crispell

With Dave Douglas

With Russ Lossing

  • Metal Rat (Clean Feed, 2000)

With Joe Lovano

With Tisziji Munoz

  • Auspicious Healing (Anami Music, 2000)

With James Newton

With Hank Roberts

With John Zorn

With Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi

  • Hot Pstromi: With A Little Horseradish on the Side (Global Village)
  • Garden of Yidn (Naxos)
  • Klezmer: Cafe Jew Zoo (Naxos)
  • Dveykes (Adhesion) (Global Village)


External links[edit]