Muhal Richard Abrams: One for the Whistler


One for the Whistler



Blu Blu Blu (Black Saint 120117)

Buy Track


Muhal Richard Abrams (piano), Jack Walrath (trumpet), John Purcell (alto sax), Eugene Ghee (tenor sax), Brad Jones (bass), Warren Smith (vibes, tympani), Thurman Barker (drums),

Alfred Patterson (trombone), Mark Taylor (French horn), Joe Daley (tuba), Robert De Bellis (alto sax), Patience Higgins (baritone sax), Dave Fiuczynski (guitar), Joel Brandon (whistling)


Recorded: New York, November 9-10, 1990


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

Muhal Richard Abrams has been leading large ensembles since 1961, and his orchestral work balances pure experimentalism with more overt references to the jazz tradition. The result is often a vibrant progressive big band music, as heard on “One For The Whistler.” Here Abrams overflows with ideas for timbral blends—note the vibraphone and muted trumpet that offset Joel Brandon’s papery, flutelike whistling. But despite the dedication to Brandon, the piece is more of a feature for saxophonist Eugene Ghee. The tenorman turns it out in classic ballad mode, with his romantic and moonlit solo evoking the rattle of the el over rain-slicked streets.

Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli

Tags: · ·

  • 1 Sen // Oct 17, 2008 at 05:20 PM
    yes, this is a great track, Muhal is a master, merges written and improvised music on this piece beautifully, I love how the composed material appears in the middle of the piece, the tenor sax begins as slow ballad, morphs into swing time and then metric modulatuion into 6/8 (the quater note of 4/4 change to dotted quater in compound time) over the piano vamp comes the best melody on the album voiced for the amazing whistler Brandon and muted trumpet, lyrical and so rhythmic. The whole thing is a mini masterpeice the way it shifts in time, form and style. u have to dig it