Dave Burrell has been heard in a variety of jazz settings over the years; the veteran pianist has embraced free jazz at its most extreme, but he is certainly accomplished as an inside/outside player. Recorded live at the University of Pennsylvania's Houston Hall in Philadelphia in 2005, Consequences finds Burrell forming a cohesive duo with percussionist Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame). There are no other musicians on board -- Consequences is strictly Burrell's acoustic piano and Martin's captivating percussion -- and the two musicians enjoy a consistently strong rapport during a set that passionately celebrates the pleasures of totally outside free jazz. Consequences is not mildly avant-garde; it is very avant-garde, and the influence of Cecil Taylor's blistering pianism is impossible to miss. Taylor, of course, is hardly the only pianist who has influenced Burrell along the way -- Burrell also appreciates everyone from Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell to Jelly Roll Morton -- but on this CD, Taylor is Burrell's most obvious influence (which is not to say that Burrell allows his own personality to become obscured; he is his own man and has been for a long time). And thanks to Taylor's inspiration, Consequences is as dissonant and abstract as it is passionate. It is also uncompromising. Consequences is not recommend to listeners who haven't developed a taste for radical players like Taylor and Marilyn Crispell, but those who do appreciate the more extreme side of avant-garde jazz will find a lot to enjoy about Burrell's inspired outside duets with Martin.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson