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Walt Dickerson/Sirone/Andrew Cyrille: Life Rays

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This writer just caught up with Dickerson, whose subtle conception escaped my awareness until writing this review forced me to dig in and listen. His sound is obviously unique- and Nat Hentoff’s notes explain how he alters his mallets to get his softer timbre and greater speed-but I never quite got on his wavelength before. His conception of melodic/percussive development is really his own. He may at times sound impressionistic, as when he creates such long shimmering lines that they cease to be heard as lines and become a sonic waterfall, but it’s not just a pretty thing. His “Good Relationship” reminds me of Andrew Hill’s uneasy writing.

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