Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 04/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD captures Pullen in concert at Montreux during the summer of 1977. One of jazz's most creative and dramatic pianists, Pullen demonstrates his improvisational power over the course of two extended tunes. While some listeners might find the inclusion of bass, drums and percussion a respite from Pullen's free-jazz forays, I found that I'd have preferred a pure solo album."Richard's Tune," by Muhal Richard Abrams, the great avant-garde pianist and an inspiration for Pullen and other young artists, begins with a solo introduction of roughly 10 minutes in length. During the solo, we hear Pullen's complex approach to piano. He is alternately lyrical and discordant, gentle and violent. He splinters harmonies, delivers bursts of sound in rapidly strung together notes, hammers rhythmically with the left hand and creates labyrinthes of sound with the right. The listener can never relax."Dialogue Between Malcolm and Betty" refers of course, Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz. Whatever political interpretations you attach to that (and Pullen in a brief spoken introduction seems to downplay them by calling it a dialogue "between man and woman"), this dialogue is a tempestuous one indeed, but one that is again tempered by stretches of lyricism. The "dialogue" can be viewed in several ways: between the Pullen's right hand with its "feminine" higher notes and his left hand, with its at times rumbling "masculine" voice; between sections of the long solo introduction, and later between Pullen's piano and the layers of percussion that answer him.My only complaint with the performances as a whole is that the introduction of bass and drums tames them somewhat. Jeff Berlin on bass and Steve Jordan on drums are both skilled performers, but they seem unable to match Pullen's imaginative power, and the sound of Berlin's electric bass seems out of place. There is something too thin in its sound to stand up to Pullen's creations of earth, wind, sun and fire.Full solo performances by Pullen are available; the best, though it is hard to find, is the 1975 Sackville release "Solo Piano." Still in print, and also highly recommended, is "Evidence of Things Unseen" on Black Lion. Each of these releases fulfill the promise of the great solo intros of "Montreux Concert.""