The Wire (p.74) - "As the performance progresses, Abrams embraces increasing extremes of texture and stylistic reference points....The concert climaxes with Abrams provoking the piano into surreal resonant echoes..."
Down Beat (p.67) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] highly ruminative recital that has a number of repeated motives and gestures....Each of these movements, woven together without pause, balances light against dark..."
JazzTimes (p.84) - "The music flows continuously, with each phrase, each episode flowing meaningfully from that which preceded it. Beautiful, affecting stuff..."
Personnel: Muhal Richard Abrams (piano).
Audio Remixer: Tom Hamilton.
Liner Note Author: Muhal Richard Abrams.
Recording information: Guelph Jazz Festival, Guelph, Canada (1998).
Photographer: Alan Nahigian.
Maverick pianist Muhal Richard Abrams has built a long, dazzling career on the principles of vision, skill, and intuition. Though Abrams has worked in small group settings, big bands, and orchestras, VISION TOWARD ESSENCE captures Abrams playing solo before a rapturous audience at a Canadian jazz festival in 1998. Drawing largely on his free jazz experience, yet incorporating elements from across the stylistic spectrum, Abrams creates spontaneously improvised cities in air that shift, surge, and sparkle.