Don Pullen, at the end of a brilliant career . . .
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 09/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . produced a clutch of standout recordings. This one, a predecessor to Ode to Life (dedicated to the late George Adams), perhaps his defining late-period disc, marks the first flowering of a direction that, had Pullen remained healthy, probably would have defined his musical direction for the next decade or so. Sadly, he contracted a virulent form of cancer and was lost to us little more than three years hence.
Featuring a standout band comprising the leader on piano; the fiery Carlos Ward on alto saxophone; Brazilian Nilson Matta on bass; Brazilian Guilherme Franco on timba (a native South American drum, perhaps first heard here in recorded music), berimbau, and percussion; and Senegalese Mor Thiam on djembe, tabula, and rainsticks, this band plays with a dexterity and world-jazzy authority seldom encountered among practitioners of this rarefied music.
This quintet of two Brazilians, an African, and two progressive North Americans, forges almost a new kind of world jazz: avant-worldbeat. Ward, who played both with Cecil Taylor and Abdullah Ibrahim, brings an intensity and freedom that stamps these proceedings with a kind of manic joie de vivre, soaring and swooping with controlled abandon. Pullen, who over his long and productive jazz life perfected a wild and idiosyncratic chromaticism, gooses these proceedings to dizzying heights with his pianistic antics. All is anchored by the earthy percussions of Thiam and Franco and the astounding dexterity of bassist Matta. The result is a dynamic rhythmic foundation that undergirds Pullen's and Ford's flights of fancy with amazingly fluidity.
Music of rare daring and sublime accomplishment."
HIS MASTERPIECE SO FAR
K. Prousalis | drama GREECE | 04/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Technically an excellent worldjazz approach of very rich soundcolours.It is a masterpiece with a very unique style and a constant row of excitement rythm and emotion."
Don Pullen - Kele Mou Bana
Lois Harford | SaCal | 08/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I think this album is actually very good, but personally, I don't care for the very new-age-y random piano licks. I really love his album "Ode To Life", where those proclivities are more minimal, and it feels more like the type of jazz and Afro-Brazilian music that I like, rather than free-form stuff that just doesn't grab me. (My preferences run to Coltrane, Miles Davis, Rollins, Coleman, Airto, Corea, etc...)"