Mujician: Spacetime

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Mujician: Spacetime Within improvised music, there are (at least) two very different traditions. In one tradition (exemplified by groupings such as Company and Relay) musicians who are relatively unknown to each other are thrown together to make what they will of the meeting, sometimes negotiating a common language in the process, often with astonishing results. At the other extreme are long-standing groups of individuals who have played together over many years and established an almost telepathic understanding of each other's playing and reactions to stimuli. Into this latter category would fall groupings like AMM, the Evan Parker trio and Mujician, all very different, but three of the very finest.

Mujician have been together now since 1988 (this album is their fifth, all released on Cuneiform, all recommended). They are effectively a "supergroup" (remember them?) bringing together four extraordinary players who are all leaders in their own right and also superb instrumentalists, Paul Dunmall on soprano & tenor saxophones, Tony Levin on drums, Paul Rogers on double bass and Keith Tippett on piano. However, it is not just their individual skills that are most noteworthy in Mujician, but the nature of their interactions. The music that they play is totally improvised, with no pre-arranged rhythms, chords, themes, order. That is what keeps their music fresh and exciting. But it is the musicians experience with each other that makes the music coherent and dynamic. Although there is no prearranged order to this music, it is certainly not anarchic; indeed, in its way, some of it is as structured as a Bach fugue. On this outing, Mujician have opted for shorter pieces. None of the fifteen tracks here exceeds ten minutes, with several around the two-minute mark. This contrasts with pieces on past albums that have been about half an hour long. Instead, here, these short pieces are organised into two longer pieces ("suites" is descriptive but maybe too grand a word), "Spacetime" and "Exquisitely Woven Spiritual Communication" - both very apt titles for what the group does. This organisational structure brings the twin advantages of variety and coherence, but I suspect that these "suites" are the result of post-production selection and editing. Anyway, the end result is another excellent Mujician album that is recommended to anyone with open ears.

Track Listing: Spacetime (Parts 1-7); Exquisitely Woven Spiritual Communication (Parts 1-8).

Personnel: Paul Dunmall: tenor and soprano saxophones; Tony Levin: drums; Paul Rogers: bass; Keith Tippett: piano.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records | Style: Modern Jazz


More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Habana Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Habana Dreams
by James Nadal
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Lightyears" CD/LP/Track Review Lightyears
by Jim Olin
Published: July 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!