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Review – Paul Murphy & Larry Willis – “Foundations”

Posted on 03 April 2010 by Robert

Disclaimer:¬†Avant-Garde jazz is not my thing, so this review will obviously be from my perspective. If Avant-Garde is your thing, then you’ll likely not find my review helpful.

Sometimes an album comes along that receives great praise from all of the knowledgeable people and you are left wondering what all of the hype is about. Perhaps it’s too experimental for you, or perhaps it feels like it’s not going anywhere.

Album Art
Album Art

Both are the case with Paul Murphy & Larry Willis’¬†Foundations,which was released August, 2009. While the musicianship is undoubtably virtuosic, I felt as if the tracks were written for a very specific audience. As a matter of fact the liner notes state that the entire album is improvised, which is impressive.

Foundations¬†is almost one of those “you had to be there” things. I’m sure that the live performance (assuming there was one) was one to be amazed at, but for me it just doesn’t work.

While the following video is a track which is not on the album, it’s very much the same type of track you’ll receive when purchasingFoundations.

Notable Tracks
Preter
Dance Pointe

Tracks
Foundations
Epigraph
Khafre
Preter
Morel
Mr. LB
Paen
Dance Pointe
East Turn Alt
Composite Drive
June Jump
Equinox

Verdict:
Avant Garde jazz is not for everyone. Some say that it is music intended only for musicians. I appreciate the abilities of the musicians in this album, but it’s definitely not an easy listener. This is music to listen to with intent, almost as if it were made only to be studied. Watch the video posted above before you make your mind up on this matter. If you want to listen to a sample of this album, or even buy it, click the link below.

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