November 1981

Bill Dixon

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November 1981 Review

by Bob Rusch

The music on this two-record set was typical of trumpeter Bill Dixon's hue and perhaps the most in-command set of his so far released (1983). The first five tracks on sides one and two, (11/16 and 17/81), struck me as rather unresolved and tedious on first listening. The last four tracks on sides three and four, (11/8/81), grabbed me with both their immediacy and daring. Both sides impressed me with the dedication to purity which has always marked all of Dixon's music. Repeated listenings to record number one brought out greater dimensions to the music, displaying an azure mellowness which ran deep with revolving panoramas. Record two opened with "Webern", a bold, biting piece which set the tone and segued into "Winterset". The record ended with "Velvet", returning to the solace which marked so much of record one, and "Latino Suite", a developing piece of trumpet hues over washes of free rhythm which, by the time it evolved mid-way into a bowed bass solo, was quite effective. It was interesting how some of this music, "Velvet" in particular, when played at 45 RPM maintained its pacing. It played faster but the pulse remained the same.

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