Bill Dixon: Thoughts




Bill Dixon (trumpet)


Thoughts (Soul Note SN 1111)

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Bill Dixon (trumpet), John Buckingham (tuba), Marco Eneidi (alto sax), Peter Kowald (bass), William Parker (bass), Mario Pavone (bass), Lawrence Cook (drums).

Composed by Bill Dixon


Recorded: Bennington, VT, May 16, 1985


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Dixon's choice of instrumentation and the fact that he recorded this in a very reverberant space with microphones set a considerable distance from the band, results in a very dark, almost aloof-sounding music. In the beginning, the three basses and tuba establish a low, mildly percussive platform over which Dixon sounds his melancholic trumpet (or flugelhorn; the recording quality makes it difficult to tell). Dixon relies on long, sustained tones, interspersed with the occasional trill and scalar flurry. He creates a limpid atmosphere that's broken with the entrance of the more overtly dynamic Eneidi, who at this early point in his career already evidenced unusual fire and creativity. The open-structure piece evolves organically; moods shift naturally. Dixon's return toward track's end is more energetic, his fast freebop lines engaging drummer Lawrence Cook before returning to the lyricism of the beginning. The open-structured performance is almost ambient in nature, despite the free-jazz intensities. All told, Dixon's artistry, the remote, bass-heavy concept, and the horns' contrasting styles make for an intriguing work.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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