Mujician There's No Going Back Now

UK quartet Mujician have been going strong for almost two decades; they remain one of the most distinctive and user-friendly of free-jazz groups, specialising in flowing, energetic large-scale improv that jumps gracefully from idea to idea, sound-world to sound-world. On There’s No Going Back Now Keith Tippett’s sparkling piano dances lightly, almost bemusedly, over the scathing intensities of saxophonist Paul Dunmall and bassist Paul Rogers. Drummer Tony Levin pushes the music to some terrific moments of frenzy, but also knows when to lay out and let Rogers’ eerie Arco come to the fore. Despite his avoidance of keyboard thunder it’s Tippett who often discreetly directs the music, at one point throwing in a little South African jazz, at another whipping the band into an ecstatic Tyner-esque climax. The album documents a continuous 45-minute performance, which could have made for an indigestible slab of music, but there’s no congestion or flagging inspiration here: the music carries its weight easily, at times almost airily. (Cuneiform)