The drummer on this session is best known as a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, but may have done much finer work in other contexts such as this, a duet with a keyboardist whose manner of improvising seems able to absorb an unlimited amount of percussive input. While the freewheeling, sometimes surrealistic movement of the Art Ensemble of Chicago's music was inevitably somewhat hampered by adding a drummer, Don Pullen seems to thrive on the edge of bombast. Featured on either piano or organ, he makes great use of whatever the drummer throws at him, much of which was acquired in promotional deals judging by the long list of product endorsements that always seems to follow the name Famoudou Don Moye. "Conversation" and "Communication" are simple, even drab titles for a set of performances, each in the 10 minute range, that are among Pullen's finest work. He is a more mature player than he was when he recorded his famous duets with drummer Milford Graves. The pianist unleashes the earthy, even raging power he absorbed from the Charles Mingus combo and also displays a kind of compositional memory for details and nuances that will prove to be important as each piece unfolds. The album's title track is another example of a particular style of rock and funk influence that livens up recordings from this scene of musicians in the late '70s.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Eugene Chadbourne