Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Muhal Richard Abrams|
One Line Two Views
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 04/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Influential pianist Abrams turns out one of his best efforts with this 1995 release. Listeners apprehensive when terms like "free jazz" and "avant-garde music" are tossed around are invited to sample this work. Abrams blends abstraction and orchestration, freedom and discipline and sounds of all manner in this superior release.Several of the tunes show a classical approach and manage to achieve a very free, loose feeling while still conveying cohesion. For example, the aptly named "Textures 95" opens with abstracted vibes and piano and sonorous violin sounds. Various instruments join the piece, including Abrams' piano, producing a layering of sound. It all proceeds with a sense of musical logic that produces a satisfying feeling of completion.The album is richly veined. "The Prism 3" features some Latin-flavord drumming and fragmented horn lines to produce a sense of musical drama that builds to a great trumpet solo from Eddie Allen, who even quotes "Tequila" at one point. Drumer Reggie Nicholson's drumming on this piece and throughout is superb. He plays all over the instrument and is as comfortable playing Latin rhythms as he is improvising freely when there is no clear time signature.The hardest-driving piece is the great "11 over 4," which allows plenty of improvisational space to all the musicians, while remaining just close enough to the musical edge to keep the listener off balance.Adding to the diversity that is the core of the album is the variety of instrumentation. Accordian (Tony Cedras) is featured prominently on several pieces, and Abrams also manages to work in violin, harp and vibes, as well as reeds and trumpet.Finally, for those interested in a truly free piece, check out the closing "Ensemble Song," which challenges the listener to follow the band through a series of musical landscapes. The destination of the journey is never determined for the listener, but this listener followed eagerly, more than willing to make the trip. It's a blend of free rhythms, the spoken word, percussion, and imaginative combinations of sound.Throughout, Abrams' piano is a constant presence. He does not indulge in technique for its own sake, but contributes some fine individual performances, particularly on "Textures 95" and the challenging "Hydepth." He also cooks on "11 over 4.""One Line Two Views" is, simply stated, a master work by a dedicated musical innovator."
Jason Gubbels | San Diego, CA | 07/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful presentation of Muhal Richard Abrams' melodic and compositional gifts, this recording just may well be his crowning glory. It's not easy music to absorb, and yet it never approaches the chilly archness the contemporary avant-garde often seems beholden to. That is, it swings, especially the delightful centerpiece, the all-too-brief 'Tribute to Julius Hemphill and Don Pullen," blessed with an enchanting trumpet line that spills across the song like rays of sunshine. Even on the closing track, the nearly 19-minute long 'Ensemble Song,' which prominently features key players reading short passages of poetry and/or found snippets of conversation, there's a humanistic vibe present. Truly a wonderful recording - as fine an example of Abrams' gifts as any, and about as good as Third Stream is ever going to be."
Rich programme of music is a delight
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 12/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Reminiscent in some ways of Duke Ellington in its use of colours whilst being rhythmically powerful - in this latter regard Mr Lindsey Horner on Bass constantly reminds one of the importance of that instrument to jazz. Although the slower works are more affecting to me, I found 11 OVER 4 an absolute collective powerhouse of great swinging churning jazz filled with not only great ensemble work but some great solos in particular Mr Feldman on violin. The tentette also includes harp, accordian, synthesiser, and an unacknowledged or unattributed flute, maybe Mr Ehrlich....speaking of whom, I'm an unabashed fan and his work on this, particularly his bass clarinet, is as always wonderful. THis is a long, long way from "background" music and deserves careful and concentrated listening from which one will receive its considerable rewards. After three years of living with this CD, it stands up to repeated listenings better than most. Mr Abrams is one of the USA's contemporary "classical" masters regarding composing and orchestration and is in the same ball park as Mr Evans and Mr Ellington"