Tenor saxophonist David Murray, founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet and 1991 winner of the Danish Jazzpar prize, leads this tribute to the late pianist Don Pullen. Recorded in the year following Pullen's death from lymphoma and only recently released, Long Goodbye
features four of the pianist's compositions, two from D.D. Jackson, and one from Butch Morris. Joining Murray are pianist Jackson, bassist Santi Dibriano, and drummer J.T. Lewis; both bassist and drummer were members of Pullen's African Brazilian Connection, and recorded with him just six weeks before his death. Murray and Pullen worked together as well; Pullen appears on the saxophonist's Shakill's Warrior
and Shakill's 2
. D.D. Jackson studied with the pianist for two years and retains much of the percussive style employed by Pullen, including the trademark swirling keyboard sweeps. (You can find more information about Don Pullenhere
The deeply reverential and solemn title tune by Butch Morris, reaches out like a prayer and moves through different phases of a musician's life. From softly floating melodies to raucous squeals and squawks, the piece offers a thorough look at what kind of energy fueled Don Pullen and in how many directions his musical approach turned. Pullen's ballad "Common Ground," which he recorded with the Chief Cliff Singers and his African Brazilian Connection, appears here without the Native American chant and drums; instead, the quartet maintains a hushed jazz approach with Murray supplying the beautiful melody. Jackson's two compositions lend a Latin touch, exciting solo work from each quartet member, and a glimpse at Jackson's own percussive piano power. From the rolling waltz-like melody of "Resting on the Road," to the familiar guy-next-door approach of "Gratitude," and the bold, stirring concentration of "El Matador," Pullen's music is uplifting and always welcome. Highly Recommended.