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Recording live in 2006, For Those Who Cross the Seas finds keyboardist and composer Alon Nechushtan assembling a titanic lineup of NYC free and experimental jazz players to perform a pair of longform pieces. “Astral Voyages,” on disk 1, combines free and spiritual jazz with a dash of New Orleans rhythm. Nechushtan provides warm electric piano chords and dreamy melody over which saxophonists Daniel Carter and Sabeer Matin, flautist/trumpeter Roy Campbell, and drummer Federico Ughi run wild. Bassist William Parker acts like his usual impeccable self, shifting casually from spontaneous improv to rock-solid groove and back like it’s just another (fulfilling) day at the office. Disk 2’s “Cosmic Canticles” fields a similar blend, but emphasizes groove over power, with the late Campbell giving an especially fervent performance. Though it’s his music, Nechushtan seems perfectly happy to stay in the background providing a foundation for his colleagues to stand tall upon. For Those Who Cross the Seas, great rewards beckon.
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