Best known as the bassist for Mr. Bungle, Trevor Dunn was also a major part of the Bay Area music scene in the early '90s. He was the bassist for a number of jazz and free jazz bands, including some excellent groups put together by local composer Graham Connah. He also played frequently in various free improvisation groups that specialized in spontaneous unstructured music a la Derek Bailey or Evan Parker.

Among his best known bands was Junk Genius, a jazz-like band led by guitarist John Schott and clarinetist Ben Goldberg. He's also rapidly becoming part of the John Zorn/Tzadik circle of modern, experimental musicians.

He's only released one album as a leader, Debutantes and Centipedes, credited to Trevor Dunn's Trio Convulsant. Each track mixes easygoing, slow jazz improvisation with harsh, slow guitar attacks. A light but somehow ominous bass solo will turn a corner into vicious power chords, like death metal in super slow motion. He credits surrealist artists, particularly Andre Breton, as an influence for the band's sound, and he's hoping to do more albums with this kind of trio. The album was released the Dutch record label, Buzz (owned by another Dutch label called Challenge).

Among his current regular projects is Fantômas, featuring Mike Patton (of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More, of course), Buzz Osbourne and Dave Lombardo. The band plays arrangements of horror movie music.

Like many jazz/experimental musicians around San Francisco, Dunn left circa 1999 for New York City in hopes of broadening his career. I wish him well -- he's a very talented musician who's mixes legitimate jazz chops with a true love of eclectic, confusing music a la Bungle.

As a footnote, Trevor developed an obsessions with platypusses while writing the song "Platypus." He picked the title just because he liked the sound of the word, but when it came time to write lyrics, he started researching the platypus, and he was hooked.

Trevor Dunn Discography and home page:

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