Roscoe Mitchell, Far Side

Seth Colter Walls

By Seth Colter Walls

on 06.07.12 in Reviews

Far Side

Roscoe Mitchell

How influential and well-respected is Roscoe Mitchell, at this point? Well, on this live date for ECM, the two pianists in his octet are Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn (arguably the two biggest names in contemporary jazz piano). The rumbling, droning opening suite of three pieces takes its time winding up — but explodes in a gratifying way at the midway point. (Hearing Taborn going nuts behind Mitchell’s soprano playing is a singular highlight of modern jazz.) The “Quintet” and “Trio” pieces are shorter, and more consistently driven by pulse, while “Ex Flower Five” is driven by the stellar piano power on offer.