Listening to Don Pullen: Solo lp on Sackville

 I’m listening to the solo lp by pianist Don Pullen on Sackville, recorded in Toronto, 1975. 

 I love solo piano lps, especially when I discover a sleeping gem like this. I don’t know what took  me  so long to get around to this one – I passed it by so many times in records stores, probably in  search of  some other undiscovered recording. Don can lay down a modal vamp like Mal Waldron,  take it outside like Cecil Taylor, and at the same time, has more interesting, concrete vocabuary  to back up his explorations. Completely comfortable with free improv and dense clusters of “note showers” that rain down like thousands of Perseid meteor fragments on an August night, Don is equally adept at developing simplistically clear and unadorned melodic cells that appeal to less adventurous ears. In other words, his “heavy-duty chops” don’t overwhelm his melodic instincts even when it sounds like four hands on the piano. Charles Mingus knew that and included him on the magically brilliant “Changes I and II”, recorded a year earlier in 1974.

I’d give it “Four Thumbs Up!”



~ by Garrison Fewell on December 9, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: