Bill Dixon

In Italy, Vol. 1

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This set, one of two of Dixon's issued on vinyl in 1980, was a rare release that showed why he is so admired by musicians and has such a tough time getting recorded. The four songs contain no prominent beats or riffs, catchy hooks, sentimental melodies, or enticing devices. One is nearly 20 minutes long, with multiple movements ("For Cecil Taylor"); another is almost 13 minutes, with stretches of blistering exchanges between Dixon and fellow trumpeters Arthur Brooks and Stephen Haynes. Even the shorter pieces have exacting unison statements and prickly solos. An unfolding, unpredictable musical dialogue.

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