CD Momentum [Dave Burrell] (CD 976261),
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Momentum [Dave Burrell]

  • 1. Downfall
    2. Broken Promise
    3. Fade to Black
    4. 4: 30 to Atlanta
    5. Cool Reception
    6. Momentum
    7. Coup d'Etat
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 008

  • Credits
    EngineerJon Rosenberg

    Personnel: Dave Burrell (piano); Michael Formanek (double bass); Guillermo E. Brown (drums).
    Recording information: Systems Two Studio, Brooklyn, NY (11/2005).
    Photographer: Shawn Brackbill.
    Spiky and challenging but only rarely moving into the rhythmic and tonal fearlessness of some of his more outside work, Dave Burrell's Momentum finds the veteran modern creative pianist working with a new pair of sidemen, the hot young drummer Guillermo E. Brown (part of the David S. Ware/William Parker axis who has also played with turntablist DJ Spooky) and bassist Michael Formanek, who has recorded as a leader since the turn of the '90s. With the 66-year-old Burrell in charge, there are three full generations of progressive jazz players on display, so what's most impressive about Momentum is how timeless it feels: these seven tracks sound like they could been recorded at any point since the early '60s. The majority of the album was originally composed to accompany a restored French silent film from the '20s (Burrell has spent much of his working life as a jazz expat in Paris), which goes a long way toward explaining its general straightforwardness. Formanek's elegant solo opening the graceful "Fade to Black" recalls some of Jimmy Garrison's showcases with John Coltrane, answered by Burrell's doomy, portentous low-register chords; elsewhere, "4:30 to Atlanta" is a showcase for Brown's improvisational skills, letting the drummer take the instrumental lead while Formanek and Brown spend most of the track placidly comping behind his controlled but fierce attack. Overall, however, this is Burrell's album fully, featuring solos that swing effortlessly from Bill Evans lyricism to Cecil Taylor atonality and back, sometimes within just a few bars. Burrell is often called an inside/outside pianist for this duality of his playing, and Momentum is that tendency in its purest form. ~ Stewart Mason

  • Critic Reviews
    The Wire (p.65) - "[H]ere he creates something original from the ground between the darkly minimal curlicues of Mal Waldron and the Cecil Taylor-influenced frenzy of Don Pullen."
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