George Schuller: Hellbent (2003)

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George Schuller: Hellbent
It can be a bit risky when a drummer leads an improvised jazz group, often relating to the approach to the music and a lack of harmony. But this CD is a pleasant surprise, seeing how the group features the excellent Ed and George Schuller, both sons of iconoclastic composer/critic/analyst/author Gunther Schuller.

Nothing less should be expected from this quintet, which also features Tim Berne on alto, moving the music along at an entertaining pace. The fact that this disc was recorded live helps keep the music accessible, balancing the energy so it doesn’t fluctuate.

The second and third numbers, "Thaw" and "Ripe," provide an intricate framework with significant flexibility for individual expression. Overall, this disc has much to offer the fan of modern jazz and creative improvisation.

Track Listing: Pumpkins; The Thaw; Ripe; Distant Cousin; Slightly Round; Band Vote.

Personnel: Tim Berne: alto saxophone; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Ed Schuller: bass; George Schuller: drums.

Record Label: Playscape Recordings

Style: Modern Jazz

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