Earshot: Phil Minton + Torsten Mueller

First-generation British free improviser Phil Minton is one of the very few vocalists whose technique and sensibility make him a true virtuoso instrumentalist. His commanding presence, seemingly impossible multiphonics, and irrepressible humor have confounded and delighted audiences around the world for many decades. Glenn Astarita writes, “Minton’s vocal range and ability to mimic echo and reverb bestows uncanny similarities to elements of an electronics-based DJ mix.”

Torsten Mueller, the German double bassist living in Vancouver, B.C., is one of his instrument’s masters of extended techniques in the service of making exhilarating improvised music. It’s no wonder he has long shared the stage with a who’s who of creative musicians from across Europe, Canada, and the States. “Mueller wields his bow to tease the upper register,” says Sean Patrick Fitzell. “He avoids obvious lines, preferring to color abstractly and shape the proceedings with thick notes and percussive flourishes that sound like prepared piano.”

Presented by Nonsequitur & Polestar with Earshot Jazz Festival. (Photo courtesy Coastal Jazz and Blues Society)