Bill Dixon

Papyrus, Vol. 1

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Perhaps the most underrated trumpeter in all of jazz, Bill Dixon has forged a unique style that relies as much on space and silence as it does on sound. Yet, his music is far from that of minimalism, as he simply makes every note count. For this recording he is paired with percussionist Tony Oxley, who shares the trumpeter's predilection for sensitivity. Both of these musicians are too smart to attempt to impress with flurries of notes or astonishing technique (though both are capable of doing so); instead, the joys compare to those of a fine wine: subtle and fulfilling. All 12 pieces are fully improvised, yet filled with melodic wonders. The music requires the listener to pay close attention, but the rewards are there. Dixon plays piano on several tracks, and his approach with the keys aptly mirrors his trumpet playing -- and provides additional pleasure.

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