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Sacred Common Ground
Don Pullen
Sacred Common Ground
Genres: World Music, Jazz


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CD Details

All Artists: Don Pullen
Title: Sacred Common Ground
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note
Genres: World Music, Jazz
Styles: South & Central America, Brazil, Brazilian Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724383280025, 0724383280056, 724383280025

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CD Reviews

Perhaps Don Pullen's greatest achievement
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 09/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"He was practically on his deathbed, having been diagnosed with terminal lymphoma, when this was recorded. Struggling with chemotherapy, sick, exhausted, he still pressed forward to complete this entirely remarkable amalgam of Afro-Brazilian/Native American musics.

Sacred common ground.

That idea defined for composer and pianist Pullen what was most important in life: the coming together of disparate, yet essentially coextensive cultures, in peace, harmony, and beneficence.

How could this work? How could such alien sensibilities as avant-garde jazz, Afro-Brazilian folk, and Native American chant ever jibe? How indeed? But just listen. Somehow, they do. This disc, to me, is every bit as remarkable as Jim Pepper's magnificent Comin' and Goin'--and maybe even more so, because even greater cultural distances are bridged.

When looked at purely objectively, this could never work--there're just too many alien elements that must, somehow, come together: For example, just what is the possible connection between Afro-Brazilian avant jazz and Native American chant? Only a genius like Don Pullen could tease out the common musical threads, which he regularly does, but most convincingly and brilliantly on "River Song," seven-and-a-half minutes of sheer cross-cultural genius.

About the only analog to this remarkable music is Tony Hymas's equally brilliant Oyate, which anyone interested should certainly check out. In the meantime, I suggest you acquire this transcendent disc without delay."
An original idea but a challenging listen
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 05/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Sacred Common Ground" may be Don Pullen's most original albeit unusual release. The concept for the project is boldly inventive. "Sacred Common Ground" is a blending of jazz with Native American music. On the jazz side, the music moves between heart warming straight jazz and the cacophony of avant-garde. On the Indian side, the Chief Cliff Singers contribute Koontenai chanting and drumming. Some tracks begin with a jazz introduction as the chanting fades in. Other tracks like 'Reservation Blues' follow the opposite arrangement. The million dollar question is, does it work? The response to this question depends. For art sake, this project created something genuinely unique. In addition, the results document a deeply spiritual journey. In terms of accessibility, listening to "Sacred Common Ground" can be a challenge. On the jazz side, much of the music is intentionally dissonant. On the other side, Indian singing is rough on most Western ears. For all practical purposes, Pullen united two equally discordant forces. Beyond this, the two musical forms just don't have much potential for compatability. While this was a journey worth taking, don't expect this to be a sea change that will spawn an Indian-Jazz movement. For the average jazz listener, this is an interesting recording that probably won't get more than a few spins before it collects dust."