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Surprises that come out of the blue have a special delight. So it was when I played this record. One never knows what to expect from a musician one is hearing for the first time, and hope is always kindled. Well, Robert Lindquist has all the attributes that go into making music that is pleasing to the senses and with enough depth to make the experience quite a positive one.
Lindquist has an ear for melody, but he also instils a tensility and sinew that make the tunes pliant and primed for improvisation. As a pianist, his strongest reference point is McCoy Tyner. He showcases the latter best on "Keene Valley" as he builds an imposing structure on surging harmony that opens its vista to the textures of Kevin Barcomb and Kris Farrow on tenor saxophone, the former brawnier, the latter riding the upper register and knotting the lines. Both bring in the seam and complete the weave. Bop captures "Mr. Z" as Keith Pray slips his alto into the groove and flexes it, the dynamic then vented by Lindquist, bright colours seeping in and then cut to deeper hue by Barcomb. There is a supple bounce when they get to "183, 7th and 10th" with a swinging George Muscatello on guitar ministering the communion between impulse and soul.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.