Muhal Richard Abrams: Vision Towards Essence, Pt. 1


Vision Towards Essence, Pt. 1



Vision Towards Essence (Pi 23)

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Muhal Richard Abrams (piano).

Composed by Muhal Richard Abrams


Recorded: Guelph, Ontario, September 11, 1998


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Muhal Richard Abrams is so well known and highly praised for his work as an avant-jazz composer, his piano playing is sometimes overlooked. This track is culled from his solo performance at the 1998 Guelph Jazz Festival, and provides ample evidence that he should be considered among the very best free jazz pianists. We hear how his aesthetic is heavy on impressionist, pan-modal, and quasi-serialist classical techniques, with (often nearly invisible) hints of jazz phrasing and harmony. He's a dramatic, romantic player, inclined to use great contrasts in dynamics, pulse, and texture. Few improvising pianists possess more chops. Even fewer use them to more graceful ends. This track is a lovely 21-minute opening to a nearly hour-long, uninterrupted improvised recital that was arbitrarily divided into three parts for the purpose of the CD release. It stands on its own well enough, but one should check out "Parts 2 & 3," as well, to get the full effect.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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