Hamiet Bluiett / D.D. Jackson / Mor Thiam

Same Space

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Baritone saxophonist and World Saxophone Quartet cofounder Hamiet Bluiett teamed up with Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based pianist D.D. Jackson and Senegalese percussion master Mor Thiam to create Same Space, their first release for the Canadian label Justin Time. This is an exciting but surprisingly accessible trek through a fusion of jazz/world originals. Accessibility is not normally associated with the music of Bluiett or Jackson, which typically leans toward the avant-garde. However, pigeonholing these musicians is a mistake, as apparent on Thiam's opening infectious African groove "Aseeko" followed by Jackson's gospelized ballad "Closing Melody." Bluiett's contributions are powerful but not dominating -- he is more prone to step back and let his cohorts shine, while the organized unrest of his baritone, bass clarinet, and wood flute weave in and out of the proceedings. The centerpiece to these sessions is the diversity and strength of material split between Jackson and Thiam. Same Space also serves as a tribute to the late pianist Don Pullen. Thiam was a member of Don Pullen & the African-Brazilian Connection; in fact, all three musicians played with Pullen, and Jackson was his protégé. The influence of Pullen and the combination of these artists' diverse backgrounds fuse to create a uniquely versatile music style.

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