The title of this CD by the Sonic Openings Under Pressure troupe is the term used by the Lenape tribe to name the Hudson River, and it means “river that flows two ways”. The music acts accordingly, and surely is a New York product. There are two flows here – one is freedom (as in “free jazz” and “free improvisation”), the other is form (established by structure and composition). Everything happening in these tracks has those two interactive sides; one open, the second closed in such a way that some materials are getting out, going very far away, while others are coming in, adjusting to the roots and identity of the “great black tradition,” with a conscious and determined attitude. And this intentionality means that the parameters are even more evident. Alto saxophonist Patrick Brennan is the mentor of the project, and with him we find a rhythm section once involved with Charles Gayle: bassist Hilliard Greene and drummer David Pleasant. This is sufficient indication that “Muhheakuntuk” is a recording of Fire Music, though there’s much more in the flux, because we can’t reduce these sounds to just one thing. Brennan values the nuance factor, and that’s why he inscribes himself in a lineage formed by the jazz stylists Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and Henry Threadgill. Greene has a visceral side, but he’s also a master in the art of subtilty we call “groove.” Pleasant, an expert in polyrhythm very aware of the different music families in the percussion world, from the Gullah-Geechee culture (the oldest African one in America), to hip-hop, is known for his asymmetric and complex beats. So, if your foot taps and your heart rejoices with this music, your mind will awaken.