A Well Kept Secret

A Well Kept Secret

$12

A Well Kept Secret

A Well Kept Secret:our focus is to provide you with the ultimate experience through exceptional service. BH, dr; DP, p; Ricky ford, ten sx; Hamiett Bluiett, bari sx; Buster Williams, b; Candido, perc; Francis Haynes, steel drums.Before his tragically early death from leukemia at age 53, pianist Don :Pullen recorded one great album after another. Most notable were his albums with tenor saxist George Adams, who was in all respects his musical soulmate (avant garde experimentalist but with strong gospel roots), from 1979-1988, and his own group, the African Brazilian Connection, with players from four different countries and musical cultures, from 1990 to 1995. A sign of how well respected he was is the list of groups and players he recorded with from four albums with Charles Mingus and albums with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Hamiett Bluiett, Billy Hart, Giuseppe Logan, David Murray (six albums), Sunny Murray, Dannie Richmond, John Scofield, James Blood Ulmer, and others. Along the way, in 1980, he recorded two albums with avant garde drummer Beaver Harris (d. 1991), of which this is the first.It is both the kind of album you would expect from players like Pullen and Harris and at the same time, in its instrumentation (two saxes, piano, bass, and three drummers, including Candido on congas and a steel drummer) very odd.“The kind of album you would expect.” It’s propulsive: Pullen was a propulsive pianist who, even in his most abstract playing, drove the beat, and when goes back to his roots in gospel, the beat is ineluctable. And Harris drums. It doesn’t sound like Mingus but it sounds like people who have played with or learned from that master of traditional-to-modern small group composition. Three of the five compositions could well have been played by a Mingus group. (Pullen wrote them.) The second of those three starts with a Latin groove, the kind of piece Pullen’s African Brazilian Connection played so well. Then it takes off into a wild, jagged, rapid, almost parodic ensemble that absolutely wipes out the relaxed groove it had been traveling. It works: this is a group of high energy with players who understand this kind of music –Ricky ford’s strong tenor, Hamiett Bluiett incredibly strong baritone sax, Buster Williams’s steady, Cecil McBee-ish bass. Lastly, predictable in approach but unpredictable in what he actually plays, there is Pullen’s phenomenal piano playing. The most noticeable feature of it is the way he elides in slurs and slurries of notes. I’ve been told he played with both front and back of his hands. True or not, I don’t know how else he could produce so many different notes so rapidly. At moments, the notes are played so closely to each other that they seem to slide over the top of each other.“Very odd.” Although Harris has his solos, he doesn’t stand out as much on this album as I would expect, and the congas (bongos too?) and steel drum don’t seem to add much to the mix. There is on one tune, a balladic piece, a short steel drum solo, which is okay. But really, with musicians of the caliber of Pullen, Harris, Ford, Bluiett and Williams, why the other percussionists? They’re not used as, say, Mor Thiam and Gulillerme Franco are in Pullen’s African Brazilian Connection, especially not the steel drums, which can’t seem to keep up with the speed and energy of some of these tunes.All said though, this is a fine album, which has lingered in limbo for far too long. Any album with Pullen on it is worth considering.san jose mall,store,max 85% offA Well Kept Secret
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Editorial Reviews

A Well Kept Secret

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A Well Kept Secret

A Well Kept Secret:our focus is to provide you with the ultimate experience through exceptional service. BH, dr; DP, p; Ricky ford, ten sx; Hamiett Bluiett, bari sx; Buster Williams, b; Candido, perc; Francis Haynes, steel drums.Before his tragically early death from leukemia at age 53, pianist Don :Pullen recorded one great album after another. Most notable were his albums with tenor saxist George Adams, who was in all respects his musical soulmate (avant garde experimentalist but with strong gospel roots), from 1979-1988, and his own group, the African Brazilian Connection, with players from four different countries and musical cultures, from 1990 to 1995. A sign of how well respected he was is the list of groups and players he recorded with from four albums with Charles Mingus and albums with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Hamiett Bluiett, Billy Hart, Giuseppe Logan, David Murray (six albums), Sunny Murray, Dannie Richmond, John Scofield, James Blood Ulmer, and others. Along the way, in 1980, he recorded two albums with avant garde drummer Beaver Harris (d. 1991), of which this is the first.It is both the kind of album you would expect from players like Pullen and Harris and at the same time, in its instrumentation (two saxes, piano, bass, and three drummers, including Candido on congas and a steel drummer) very odd.“The kind of album you would expect.” It’s propulsive: Pullen was a propulsive pianist who, even in his most abstract playing, drove the beat, and when goes back to his roots in gospel, the beat is ineluctable. And Harris drums. It doesn’t sound like Mingus but it sounds like people who have played with or learned from that master of traditional-to-modern small group composition. Three of the five compositions could well have been played by a Mingus group. (Pullen wrote them.) The second of those three starts with a Latin groove, the kind of piece Pullen’s African Brazilian Connection played so well. Then it takes off into a wild, jagged, rapid, almost parodic ensemble that absolutely wipes out the relaxed groove it had been traveling. It works: this is a group of high energy with players who understand this kind of music –Ricky ford’s strong tenor, Hamiett Bluiett incredibly strong baritone sax, Buster Williams’s steady, Cecil McBee-ish bass. Lastly, predictable in approach but unpredictable in what he actually plays, there is Pullen’s phenomenal piano playing. The most noticeable feature of it is the way he elides in slurs and slurries of notes. I’ve been told he played with both front and back of his hands. True or not, I don’t know how else he could produce so many different notes so rapidly. At moments, the notes are played so closely to each other that they seem to slide over the top of each other.“Very odd.” Although Harris has his solos, he doesn’t stand out as much on this album as I would expect, and the congas (bongos too?) and steel drum don’t seem to add much to the mix. There is on one tune, a balladic piece, a short steel drum solo, which is okay. But really, with musicians of the caliber of Pullen, Harris, Ford, Bluiett and Williams, why the other percussionists? They’re not used as, say, Mor Thiam and Gulillerme Franco are in Pullen’s African Brazilian Connection, especially not the steel drums, which can’t seem to keep up with the speed and energy of some of these tunes.All said though, this is a fine album, which has lingered in limbo for far too long. Any album with Pullen on it is worth considering.san jose mall,store,max 85% offA Well Kept Secret