Recorded live at the East: A Cultural and Educational Center for People of African Descent, New Directions in Modern Music is yet another rewarding recording from the Survival archives. "As-Salaam-Alikum" begins with the quick statement of a memorable theme, which fades into a fiery Carlos Ward improvisation ranking amongst the finest moments in spiritual avant-garde playing. In fact, the album calls to mind Alice Coltrane's P'tah the El'Daoud and Franklin Kiermyer's Solomon's Daughter, with Fred Simmons' punchy, sparse chords and Tyner-inspired runs complementing the group well. All of the early Survival albums include long Ali solo sections, so be forewarned; but be aware that these musicians will be pushing the limits of jazz expression. The music is the reward.
AllMusic Review by Wilson McCloy