A Different Nature on 07/02/12
This recording, from 2008, shows that Dixon has lost none of his skills as a writer of impressionistic, deep, music. The use of several horns gives Dixon room to color and explore his compositions to the fullest. The compositions are are fairly lengthy-the shortest being 9 minutes, the longer tracks 12-17 minutes. The band consists of-Dixon-trumpet/electronics, Bynum-cornet/flugelhorn/bass trumpet/piccolo trumpet, Graham Haynes-cornet/flugelhorn/electronics, Stephen Haynes-trumpet/flugelhorn, Bob Mauzurek-cornet/electronics, Glynis Lomon-violoncello, Michael Cole-contrabass/clarinet/bass clarinet, Ken Filiano-double bass/electronics, and Warren Smith-vibraphone/marimba/drums/tympani/gongs.
This is typical Dixon-open, impressionistic, sometimes dark, brooding music. But don't let the term "typical" keep you from experiencing this music. This is vital, alive, subtle, exciting, intelligent music-played by musicians who are sympathetic to Dixon's writing, arranging, and playing. The shifting colors and tones throughout these two discs is truly something special. The constant exploration, the use of electronics, the use of modal structures (among other things), gives the impression (at times) of someone speaking in tongues. In some respects (though this set is more refined) this is a continuation of his earlier music-"Intents and Purposes" (especially), and (possibly) portions of "Thoughts" and "Live in Italy". But also included are some pieces of music that have not been written down by Dixon-but they're far from free jazz.