When assessing the quality of a musician I group that musician with others I feel possess the same philosophy of playing. There are the "shredders" who play a million notes a bar (for example, Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson). And, while I recognize their mastery over the instrument, this balls-to-the-walls attitude can become a tad tedious (in my humble opinion).
STORY: My brother and I attended an Oscar Peterson concert 15 years ago or so. He's not huge jazz fan but enjoys the sound of the piano. We had great seats - close enought to the front and to the side that we could see his hands fly over the keyboard. Peterson came out, introduced the rest of his trio (I remember the bass player was Dave Young but I can't remember who the drummer was) and broke into a 7 or 8 minute medley of jazz standards. When the medley ended the hall errupted into huge applause. My brother leaned over to me and said, "We can go now. There's nothing left for him to do." I agreed with him. We left.
All this is a round about way to say, the group of musicans (in this case pianists) for which I hold the highest esteem are the ones "who can play anything". In that group I put Jaki Byard, Mary Lou Williams and Dave Burrell (among others). This recording makes a case for my claim regarding Dave Burrell. Windward Passages is a live performance recorded in Switzerland on September 13, 1979 but not released (to my knowledge) until 1994 by hat ART.
This is amazing music! I promise you won't leave after the first piece.