Saturday, January 18, 2014

Don Pullen

I have managed to obtain the entire collection of William Parker live recordings released under the title Wood Flute Songs.  There is so much beauty and heartwood in this collection that one cannot hope to appreciate it all in a lifetime.  Everything is here.  All the bits and pieces out of which modern music is composed have been melted down and recast in rainbow colors.  The tracks on which the train of melody rides have been ripped up and laid down again just ahead of the train.  If you listen to my Live365 station, you are sitting in front of William Parker and his co-conspirators. 
Meanwhile, another treasure chest arrived in my mailbox.  I have had Don Pullen’s album Evidence of Things Unseen sitting in my eMusic save file for a long time.  Good thing, that.  The Black Saint and Soul Note box Don Pullen: the Complete Remastered Recordings had that and six other albums.  It cost about 30 bucks.  Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. 
Pullen played piano on a couple of Charlie Mingus albums.  He has bop cred but most of his work under his own name stretches into avant garde.  I am playing the title cut from Evidence, one of his solo recordings.  It is delicious.  Pullen is most often compared to Cecil Taylor.  A lot of the material in this box will support that.  Mostly, though, he is more Monkish than Taylor. 
I am playing ‘Joycie Girl’ from Capricorn Rising.  Alex Blake plays bass, Bobby Battle drums, and Sam Rivers sax.  Finally, I played the title cut from The Sixth Sense.  Fred Hopkins on bass, Battle again on drums, Donald Harrison on sax, and Olu Dara on trumpet.