Happy New Year to one and all !
Pullen was an artist who must have slipped under my radar until quite recently. I'd heard him on one or two Mingus records, but not on anything else. He started out as an avant gardist in the 60s, playing with the likes of Guisseppi Logan and Milford Graves, but must have cleaned up his act to occupy the piano spot in the Charles Mingus band for much of the 70s. On Mingus's death, he formed a great quartet with fellow Mingus sidesmen, reedsman George Adams and drumme Dannie Richmond, along with bassist Cameron Brown (formerly with Archie Shepp). This quartet endured for much of the 80s and produced some fine recordings.
This concert, an FM recording (thanks go to blackforest for seeding) predates the formation of the Adams quartet, and is the same line-up that produced the album Warriors in 1978.
Don Pullen Quartet
Maison de la Culture - Grande Salle
19780322 - March 03, 1978
Don Pullen p
Chico Freeman ts, ss, fl
Fred Hopkins b
Bobby Battle dr
1) 31:36 Richard´s Tune (Don Pullen)
2) 27:52 Joycie Girl (Don Pullen)....
3) 24:20 …u.t.
Much criticism has been levelled at Pullen, suggesting he was a poor man's Cecil Taylor. Well he can pound the ivories as well as the next man, as passages of this recording show, but I think he is much more than that.
Freeman is superb on this. He doesn't appear until about two-thirds the way through the first track (perhaps he was held up in the traffic). He plays freer than on anything else I've heard by him.
If anyone is interested in a solo Don Pullen recording, "Five To Go" is still available on fredito's now defunkt blog at
http://huppeshyalites.blogspot.com/2007/05/don-pullen-five-to-go.html. Quite rare I think, and well worth a listen.