Juhani Aaltonen / Andrew Cyrille / Reggie Workman

Reflections

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While bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille are famous in advanced jazz circles, Juhani Aaltonen is lesser known despite being a veteran. Based in his native Finland, Aaltonen has long been one of the leading lights in Scandinavian free jazz. He has also performed religious music and orchestra works. His collaboration with Workman and Cyrille, despite having some very fiery and explorative moments, emphasizes ballads, lyricism and spiritual moments. While Aaltonen sometimes hints at John Coltrane (including not-too-surprisingly Trane's "Selflessness" and the opening "Serenity"), his flute playing has no obvious past role model. Taking its time, this is very much an ensemble music with Aaltonen being the lead voice among equals. It has a quiet strength all its own and grows in power and purpose with each listen. Recommended.

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