Fifth studio album from jazz pianist and composer Andrew Hill. Point Of Departure was originally recorded in 1964 and is considered by many to be Hill's apex as a leader. While contemporaries like John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman were pushing the avant-garde of jazz withe their free experimentalism, Hill belonged to a school that was more compositionally adventurous. The tunes featured on Point Of Departure are dense configurations filled with dissonant harmonies that move by at light speed. They're complex pieces that you can imagine the musicians struggling with on the first run through. The band does not tackle the music with utmost precision, the playing is rather loose. And that seems to have been the point. The caliber of the players and the level of improvisation is extraordinary. Eric Dolphy's playing is other worldly, but makes complete sense given the context. The tenor sax of Joe Henderson joins Dolphy on his journey, while Kenny Dorham's trumpet provides a brassy counterpoint to the woodwinds. As the leader, Hill's playing takes off in all sorts of directions. Despite the aggressiveness of the boundary pushing improvising, the players stay with in the boundaries of the tunes and never veer off into free jazz territory. Point Of Departure is an essential part of an serious jazz head's collection.
- music label: Blue Note 1964 / 2015
reviewed by Cool Hand 08/2015
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