Originally released on ECM in 1971, and here reissued on CD in Japan, this historic date features the two British bassists engaged while at the top of their powers, exploring not only tonality and the dynamic and harmonic possibilities that exist between two double basses, but also the expanded notions of how the different players' styles and musical intuitions dovetail, rather than work in opposition. Holland's pizzicato attack is far more languid and lush than Phillips,' whose style is over the top; they approach each encounter as one in which sheer propulsiveness becomes an aesthetic.
‘This set of five discs is an invitation to a rather special journey: through what you hear, and what you read too, you will traverse, guided by the cello, not one history but several histories. With these Cello Stories, our intention is to show you how an instrument and its repertoire have taken shape whilst retaining the imprint and memory of diverse origins. I have selected the musical programme from my recordings for Alpha – some of them previously unreleased – to complement the text by Marc Vanscheeuwijck and numerous contemporary illustrations.’ –Bruno Cocset