The first entry in the extensive series of piano solo recitals held at Maybeck Recital Hall features the great Joanne Brackeen. Although classified by some originally as an avant-gardist inspired by McCoy Tyner, Brackeen continued to grow in stature and by the late '80s had her own style. She is respectful but passionate on seven standards (keeping the melody in mind during her explorations) while her four originals are given more adventurous improvisations. "Dr. Chu Chow" is a good example of her power as is the quirky "Curved Space" with its catchy and delayed 6/4 rhythmic pattern. Although not a stride player, Brackeen is clearyly a two-handed pianist and, as shown on her "African Aztec," able to play music that hints in an abstract way at earlier styles (in this case blues and boogie-woogie) while remaining quite advanced and original. Well worth checking out.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow