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ACE OF BASS
PAUL SCHMID CHOOSES HISTORIC TAVERN FOR A RECITAL

The bass has always had a place in a barroom. The instrument anchors blues bands with its boogie lines and steady beat. In hard-rock bands, the bass often takes center stage, with dramatic, blistering solos.

At 9 p.m. Tuesday, the Central Park Grill will present the bass in a new light.

Paul Schmid, who has played in venues ranging from Fanny's restaurant to Kleinhans Music Hall, has designed a one-hour program during which he plans to show a lot of what the electric bass can do. He has a lot of affection for the instrument.

"The upright is the big daddy. I consider the electric to be a younger, more nimble protegee," he says.

The evening will include Haydn, Dvorak and "God Save the Queen," better known here as "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," as well as a bundle of other treats. "They're all short pieces. When people come into the CPG, there'll be programs sitting there," Schmid says.

Not into classical music? Don't worry, says Schmid, who realizes that his program will sound a little different to bar patrons. "They're listening to words, stories. I'm not doing that. I'm strictly instrumental. I'll do what I can to assist the audience.

"The program's just one hour long," he emphasizes. "You can anticipate that if you don't like one number, well, it'll be over soon, and there'll be a new one. Every song is only a few minutes long. Anyone would be able to come in and understand what I'm doing. The thing we have in common is the music."

Schmid chose the Central Park Grill because of the tavern's relatively quiet back room.

He has designed the pieces to suit his own artistic needs.

He'll be playing part of the slow movement of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony. "It's absolutely gorgeous, and it's in the range I can play on the bass," he says. For the sake of contrast, though, he has also added a bit of music of his own to the piece. "I sort of throw a little curve in there," he says.

Schmid will also perform the stately theme from Haydn's "Emperor" Quartet. First known as the kaiser's hymn, it later became "Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles." "Some people are offended by it," he says. He likes the idea of stripping it to its original state -- as simply an instrumental, with no political strings attached.

Then there's a graceful Handel sarabande that was heard in the movie "Barry Lyndon." "It's kind of heavy, pensive and thoughtful," Schmid says. Here, too, he can't resist throwing a curve ball. "I end it with an AC/DC-like hard-rock thing."

Has anyone else ever done that? Schmid happily admits that he doesn't think so.

Schmid will perform at 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Central Park Grill, 2519 Main St. Admission is free. e-mail: mkunz@buffnews.com

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