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The Powers of Two

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Over the years, Larry Willis has inspired a variety of comparisons -- sometimes McCoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, or Mulgrew Miller on his straight-ahead post-bop; sometimes Cecil Taylor on the avant-garde free jazz of his youth; and sometimes Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea on his fusion recordings of the '70s. The veteran pianist isn't a huge name in the jazz world, but those who have closely followed Willis' career know that he is a flexible, broad-minded player who can handle a variety of musical situations. Recorded in August 2002, The Powers of Two finds a 61-year-old Willis performing a series of intimate duets with drummer Paul Murphy. The two of them enjoy a consistently...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Over the years, Larry Willis has inspired a variety of comparisons -- sometimes McCoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, or Mulgrew Miller on his straight-ahead post-bop; sometimes Cecil Taylor on the avant-garde free jazz of his youth; and sometimes Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea on his fusion recordings of the '70s. The veteran pianist isn't a huge name in the jazz world, but those who have closely followed Willis' career know that he is a flexible, broad-minded player who can handle a variety of musical situations. Recorded in August 2002, The Powers of Two finds a 61-year-old Willis performing a series of intimate duets with drummer Paul Murphy. The two of them enjoy a consistently strong rapport on this CD, which favors an inside/outside approach that is somewhere between Tyner's post-bop and Taylor's free jazz. The Powers of Two isn't as left-of-center as a typical Taylor album; this release is mildly avant-garde, whereas Taylor's boldly uncompromising work is radically avant-garde. And while Taylor's playing can be confrontational and in-your-face, The Powers of Two is more reflective than anything. But no one will mistake The Powers of Two for an album of Tin Pan Alley standards; Willis' encounter with Murphy is more inside than outside, but the outside element is definitely there. For all its abstraction and spontaneity, The Powers of Two never comes across as aimless or mindlessly chaotic; Willis' solos have a sense of sense of purpose and sound like they were meant to happen. The Powers of Two isn't the most essential album that Willis has recorded for Mapleshade; nonetheless, it is a solid and engaging demonstration of the pianist's ability to handle both the inside and the outside.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/4/2004
  • Label: Mapleshade Records
  • UPC: 735561102329
  • Catalog Number: 1023
  • Sales rank: 320,844

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Awakening - Paul Murphy (7:06)
  2. 2 Mood Swing - Paul Murphy (6:42)
  3. 3 Aftershock - Paul Murphy (5:53)
  4. 4 Space Dreams - Paul Murphy (10:23)
  5. 5 Interlock East - Paul Murphy (7:59)
  6. 6 Dance of the Equinox - Paul Murphy (7:17)
  7. 7 Hi-Jack - Paul Murphy (6:14)
  8. 8 And He Never Said a Mumblin' Word (Truth Be Told) - Paul Murphy (8:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Larry Willis Primary Artist, Piano
Paul Murphy Drums, Improvisation
Technical Credits
Larry Willis Composer, Audio Production
Pierre M. Sprey Producer, Engineer
Eldon Baldwin Art Direction
Paul Story Mastering
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