Sunday, November 13, 2005

Torrential Torrent

William Parker Quartet - St. Anna Arresi, Italy 9/3/04 Of all of William Parker's cracking bands, this quartet is amongst the most popular. With Lewis Barnes on trumpet, Rob Brown on alto saxophone, and Hamid Drake on drums, the band burns at any tempo, but prefers the edgy half-light territory between modern hard bop and free jazz. This concert finds the group playing two very long improvisations, one clocking in at twenty-six minutes, and the other at forty-six! Far from a free-for-all blowout, however, the band moves through sections of improvisation in a suite-like manner with plenty of time to split into duos and trios.

The music becomes quite percussive at times with Drake delivering all types of rhythms and Parker's bowed and plucked bass keeping the pulse of the music moving forward. Brown and Barnes make an impressive front line with the formers tart, lemony alto juxtaposed against Barnes sputtering blasts on trumpet. In a more adventurous day, this group would have been a cinch for a Blue Note recording contract, but at least they have been recorded on the courageous AUM Fidelity label. This band has a couple of exciting and accessible CD's on this label, and they are well worth seeking out.

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