Monday, January 6, 2014

William Parker Quartet,
Wood Flute Songs

[Wood Flute Songs: Anthology/Live 2006-2012. The William Parker Quartet: Lewis Barnes, trumpet; Rob Brown, alto saxophone; William Parker, bass, reeds; Hamid Drake, drums. Guests: AMR Ensemble; Billy Bang, violin; Bobby Bradford, cornet; Leena Conquest; vocals; Cooper-Moore, piano; James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Eri Yamamoto, piano. AUM Fidelity, 2013. AUM080–87.]

This eight-CD set is a bargain, but that’s not a good reason to buy it. A good reason is that Parker’s quartet, together for thirteen years, is a great band. It is one of the great groups in jazz. Its closest analogues, to my mind: Ornette Coleman’s 1960 quartet, Charles Mingus’s 1964 sextet, Miles Davis’s mid-’60s quintet. The empathy among the members of the Parker quartet is uncanny, and the music — fueled by endlessly inventive bass and drums — is consistently beautiful and exciting and inspiring. It all makes me wonder: how do these musicians stand it when they can’t be making music?

Here is a track listing. Here are one, two short videos. Here is a twenty-minute sampler. And here is a post that I wrote after hearing the quartet last fall.

comments: 0