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The under-recorded yet highly regarded trumpeter/composer/writer Bill Dixon teams up with renowned free-jazz, improvising drummer Tony Oxley on Papyrus Volume I. Here, Dixon extracts unusual sounds from his horn via sparse, irregular lines as he shapes spacious themes while affording the listener an opportunity to contemplate time and motion throughout these 12 pieces. The ever-inventive Oxley possesses a signature style and is revered for his unorthodox employment of the drum kit, percussion instruments and array of multicolored cymbals. The duo intersperse co-operative dialogue yet serve as colorists and purveyors of enigmatic albeit spirited interplay which is often subtle and wavering yet strikingly unique. Underneath all of this is a heartbeat or pulse, which enhances the cosmic-like or ethereal patterns while at times subliminal and for the most part, seamless and transparent.
On Papyrus Volume I Dixon and Oxley provide the listener with a series of miniatures that go straight to the heart as though the twosome were transfixed in some sort of mystical aura. Overall, the music represented here resides on an elevated plane, which becomes noticeable from the onset. Simply stated, Dixon and Oxley are a stunning duo as the music shuns classification! * * * * ½
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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