Mujician — There's No Going Back Now
(Cuneiform Rune 232, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Considering the arduous nature of free jazz, it’s always a welcome gift to hear telepathic ensembles continue on (despite lack of money or marketable fan base). The ensemble of Tippett / Rogers / Dunmall / Levin has spent 14 years working together refining their exceptional exchange of ideas which is just as much communal as individual in personality. The key factors dividing this single live track lie again within transitional passages triggered by any member at anytime. We must imagine the stern eye contact or head nod which gives the go ahead to the next passage. Tippett is a master at this technique, having paved the way in private and public since his early band with the late Elton Dean. His chattering piano licks and chordal cacophony work especially well off drummer Tony Levin’s drumming style that cascades, rumbles and can stop on a dime. Paul Dunmall’s solo work is also of comparable approach, whether breaking down or building up an improvisational structure. He’s the other lead voice of the ensemble that can squawk his way through a foggy din or provide a smooth lyrical passage. Why this single improv works in direct contrast to their last CD Spacetime is that this discourse has more of each member’s personal stamp with perhaps a little more leeway afforded to Tippett than Levin. Overall it’s a challenge to your average jazz listener to wade through this precious and personal statement, but it’ worthwhile to those who persevere.
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