Tuesday, July 27, 2021

William Parker - Painters Winter (AUM Fidelity, 2021)

Bassist and composer William Parker has celebrated 2021 with a slew of new releases including the ten disc box set Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World, as well as single album projects including this one where he also plays trombonium, shakuhachi along side longtime colleagues Daniel Carter on trumpet, alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet and flute and Hamid Drake on drums. On the opening track “Groove 77,” Parker’s deep bass and Drake’s solid drums meet Carter’s patient trumpet to create some thoughtful and understated interplay, as Drake moves around the drum kit subtly shifting the pocket, and the bass and trumpet responding in interesting ways. Carter steps aside for a drum and bass conversations before the midpoint. The deepness of Parker’s bass sound and the crispness of Drake’s drumming are startling, providing a fine foundation that Carter’s trumpet seems to float and ride over, using the waves created by this engine. Parker moves to exotic shakuhachi flute for “Painters Winter” with this flute and brass combining with percussion to create fascinating textures. Air and spaciousness pervades the performance within the music as Carter’s brass slurs, building low brass sounds juxtaposed against the higher flying flute and percussion. “Happiness” uses laid back bass and drums, as Carter moves to saxophone, developing a fine and lustrous tone. The pace seems to pick up slightly, becoming open and loose but not quite free. There is a section for bowed bass and brushes, low saxophone tones, moving into a gliding near frictionless collective improvisation between three talented veterans. Carter and Parker both take to flutes on “Painted Scarf” amid ceremonial sounding slow cymbals. The two musicians use different kinds of flutes, with different pitches and tones, and they use the instruments well to converse and contort around low-key drumming. On the final track "A Curly Russell" lithe, light toned saxophone and wonderfully rattling percussion backed by elastic bass, leads to tight improvised interplay with great wit and years of wisdom behind it. Carter briefly switches to soprano saxophone, creating a tart sound, really pushing into more extreme territory then turning back to alto, keeping things fresh, crisp drumming and supportive bass with light toned sax propelling through to the conclusion. This was another typically excellent William Parker album. In his liner notes he speaks of painting with sound, and using the flow of rhythm as melody and pulsation within the music. The trio takes these ideas and use them to create a subtle and genuine piece of work that deserves to be heard. Painters Winter - amazon.com

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