Roscoe Mitchell has made several significant recordings during his long career. His is an ever evolving, constantly shaping mind, imagination molded into often stunning art. The placing and melding of sound patterns, the confluences or the expulsion of time, lend character and dimension to his work.
For this recording, Mitchell has musicians that understand his ethos and work in developing it. Consequently, the music is imbued not only with the individuality of the players but with the attributes that the compositions call for.
The music has many moods. Spontaneous invention explodes in Sagitta with rolling piano, skitterish drums and spitting sax all lending beauty to chaos. In contrast comes the beautifully flowing this, peaceful in its unfolding as it brings out the hues of the composition, save toward the latter half when the rhythm section gets itchy. The baroque side of Mitchell gets its unfolding on Wind Change, an extended piece that is constantly alluring in its nuances and coloring.
The groove swings, pirouettes, whirls, and marches in martial splendour. The melody is captivating and all the musicians come together to realize the dynamics and elevate Step One, Two, Three into stellar territory. And there is the title tune filled with vignettes of sound from the cutting edge of the saxophone to the lyricism of the piano to the limber gait of the bass and on to the gentle swing of the guitar.
Funky, uppity, and rollicking in intense fervour, that’s the Count-Off for the band and the close-out to a vibrant, passionate album that, in totality, feeds and nourishes on the musical dimension carved by Mitchell.