Don Pullen

Breakthrough

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AllMusic Review by

Yes, this is a career breakthrough in a sense, for the Don Pullen/George Adams Quartet finally got a chance to record for a major American label after several Europe-only opuses. They seemed genuinely thrilled about it, for the supercharged leadoff track "Mr. Smoothie" sure sounds like a breakthrough with its ebullient mood. While grounded in hard-swinging post-bop, soul-jazz, and the blues, Adams and Pullen use the mainstream as a base for taking off into free regions at times, Adams with his gritty, combustible tenor, Pullen his trademark piano clusters. They can also groove in a melodic yet highly charged fashion on "Song From the Old Country" and reflect yearningly in the opening bars of "A Time for Sobriety." Drummer Dannie Richmond adds his Mingus-trained flexibility and drive, fluidly teamed with bassist Cameron Brown. Throughout the record, the band's creativity burns at white heat, making this disc a good first choice for newcomers to Pullen.

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