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Dave Burrell Full-Blown Trio: Expansion

“My greatest recorded work,” says 64-year-old Dave Burrell on the press release accompanying the Dave Burrell Full-Blown Trio’s Expansion (High Two), and by golly, after listening I would be shocked if it wasn’t. Burrell’s stylistic grasp encompasses the breadth of jazz history, from Dixie to bop and beyond, yet forms an organic, inimitable whole. An early-jazz feel suffuses his work-sometimes explicitly, as on the title track or his solo version of the Irving Berlin standard “They Say It’s Wonderful,” but just as often implicitly. A Jelly Roll-ish bounce is palpable even on such collectively improvised, nontonal pieces as “Double Heartbeat.” Drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist William Parker lend a decidedly modernist component occasionally inconsistent with Burrell’s broader approach-it’s impossible to imagine Parker playing the Berlin tune as straight as Burrell would require, for instance-yet their instincts prove nearly infallible. Everything works. A terrific album.

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