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A Measure of Vision

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Album Review

Although not quite a household name in the jazz world, Alvin Fielder has quite a résumé in jazz history. He was a member of Sun Ra's Arkestra during the second half of the 1950s, played drums on Roscoe Mitchell's groundbreaking Sound LP, was one of the founders of the AACM, and has played with creative musicians for decades. The music on A Measure of Vision, even at its freest, is somewhat mellow and lyrical. Dennis Gonzalez displays a thoughtful style and a warm sound on trumpet (he is in top form) while pianist Chris Parker gives a modal feel to some of the songs. Most of the set features a trumpet-piano-drums trio. Bassist Aaron Gonzalez is on two numbers, playing so well that one wishes he were present much more. Stefan Gonzalez is on second drums and vibes on two songs, one of which includes Aaron Gonzalez. They are sons of Dennis. Overall the music is at times a bit of a throwback to the late '60s ("Max-well" quotes "A Love Supreme") while not merely copying the past and looking ahead. This CD points out how aspects of that early modern creative music era are now the jazz mainstream. This set contains plenty of surprises along the way and is rewarded by repeat listenings. Recommended.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A founding member of the AACM, drummer Alvin Fielder dropped off the radar before re-emerging in the '80s and '90s as a solid, veteran free improviser. Fielder was born November 23, 1935, in Meridian, MS, and began taking piano lessons at age six, but didn't really fall in love with music until 12, when a drummer friend turned him on to Max Roach. He studied with Ed Blackwell after high school, but wasn't sure he wanted to make music a career path, and completed the graduate-school requirements to...
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A Measure of Vision, Alvin Fielder Trio
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