The ten performances on this disc capture a pianist who is both a perfectionist and an explorer, with an enormous sound and razor-sharp articulation of each idea. Ray is never predictable. Rather than settle for familiar strategies, he works his way into corners and back out again. With the help of inspired and responsive partners Lewis Nash (the consummate drummer in Tommy Flanagan’s unit) and bassist Rufus Reid, he expands the certainty of his own spontaneous creations onto a large ensemble canvas. The resulting musical telepathy and interplay make for some of the most exciting jazz heard in a long time. Sideman no more — Tim Ray’s time has come.
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