The Journey

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An aptly named CD, as the four British jazz musicians in this improvisational group offer one long, 55-minute piece in a live performance at the Bath Festival in Bristol, and they cover a great deal of musical ground in the process. The participants are not well known in the U.S. (in fact, British jazz is generally ignored in the U.S.), and that's a real shame, because they are all superb musicians who are functioning very nicely as a unit even at this early stage of their collective development. Paul Dunmall displays his woodwind mastery (as he does on later releases) by moving during the long performance from his opening clarinet solo to soprano saxophone and then to tenor and finally baritone. Dunmall's clarinet is initially lyrical and quite lovely, as is Keith Tippett's piano when he joins in, but when Dunmall returns on soprano sax, he begins to create some dynamic tension with rapid flurries of notes and a certain timbral urgency. Finally, about 12 minutes into the "journey," the electricity starts to build, and everyone shifts into ecstatic mode. The obvious influence at this point is the mid-period Coltrane quartet, with Dunmall keening on soprano sax and Tippett paying tribute to McCoy Tyner, spinning aggressive single-note runs with the right hand and crashing block chords with the left. After a thoughtful interlude, Dunmall returns again like a fury on tenor sax, with the powerful rhythm section of Paul Rogers on bass and Tony Levin on drums pulsating behind him and pushing him even further. The music continues to ebb and flow like some organic process. And while all members of Mujician are quite adept at "outside" playing (multiphonics, extended techniques, etc.), their music expresses a wide range of emotions (even serenity and playfulness), which should make them attractive to listeners who are free jazz novices.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 55:04 Amazon
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