Monday, July 11, 2005

Various Artists - Vision 3 (AUM Fidelity, 2005)

The Vision Festival is a yearly avant-garde jazz and improvisation festival held each spring in New York City. Started by William Parker and Patricia Nicholson as a way to feature musicians who otherwise might fall through the cracks of the mainstream, the festival has grown into a premier musical showcase. This CD captures some highpoints of the 2004 festival and also includes a DVD with different performances than those included on the CD, not repeating Thirsty Ear's blunder of having a redundant audio CD with the same performances as the DVD of the 2003 festival highlights. Both of the discs showcase the variety of music available at the festival, and the diverse interests of the performers.

As can be expected, William Parker shows up quite a bit, performing with the Matthew Shipp band on the emotional "Sacrifice and Dream" and leading his own fascinating Jeanne Lee Project with the psychedelic "Bowl of Stone Around the Sun." Another fascinating performance is the politically charged "War Crimes and Battle Scars: Iraq" performed by Roy Campbell and Joe McPhee. This package makes for a great souvenir of the festival and also makes for a great primer for those interested in the current state of the New York avant-garde jazz scene.

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