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Mujician: Spacetime

The British free-jazz quartet Mujician pursues a somewhat different path with its fifth Cuneiform release, Spacetime. Rather than the extended pieces that have marked the group’s intuitive explorations to date, this CD contains two suites of shorter pieces, ranging from one to nine minutes.

After a dozen years of performing together, the musicians of Mujician seem to know where one another’s improvisation is going. Reedman Paul Dunmall, drummer/ percussionist Tony Levin, pianist Keith Tippett and bassist Paul Rogers each have their moments of brilliance here-Tippett’s use of prepared piano at a couple of well-considered moments, for example-but the collective coherence of these performances is what is most striking: they seem more to be framing silence and time than decorating them, even when one of the later pieces in “Exquisitely Woven Spiritual Communication” assumes a pulse.

Spacetime is a truly satisfying collection of improvisations from a group that deeply understands the concept of ensemble.

Originally Published