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Painters Spring by William Parker Trio

The new release on Thirsty Ear Records, Painter's Spring, features William Parker on bass, Daniel Carter on reeds and Hamid Drake on drums. This CD contains more rhythmic content than I would have ever expected. The reason is that all three players possess rhythmic souls. Not one of them can pick up an instrument and not instill its sound with something that is inherently from the heartbeat.

The variety of wind playing changes the texture and ambiance from cut to cut. Carter is extremely good at striking a mood through his choice of instrument: for instance, in the second cut, Come Sunday, Carter starts with a flute melody as liquid as honey and molds the line into one spoken with the clarinet; the fluidity of the tone does not shift, only deepens. His work on the saxophones is equally adroit and becomes the main subject in nearly all of the pieces. The tenor is a driving force in Foundation #2. The flute comes back in the last piece to create a statement that continues without sound; I can still hear the resonance in the woodsy environment Parker depicts with his bass and Drake echoes with the drums. The colors emanating from the horns portray the nature of each work, blues and all.

Parker solos in the fifth cut, Foundation #4. It is as if he is concertizing as would a cello player. Parker never ceases to amaze me with his musicality. There is absolutely no questioning the quality of the sound he produces. He simply blends himself with his instrument. One question that could be asked is: Does Parker ever have a poor performance? I would guess the answer would be in the form of another question: How could he?

Parker and Drake are unbearably reliable in the way in which they map a rhythm. It is just there, without reservation, without question. Drake consistently the master of the drumset often takes the lead in changing the pace; his polyrhythms become the backbone and simultaneously appendages for the horn. I cannot see where the trio could exist without him. Carter impresses me greatly in this CD. I have not heard Carter enough. His working with this group I hope continues.

One noticeable element to this recording is the way in which each piece ends, the significance of which is reflected in the poem by Parker printed in the liner notes. These pieces close certainly not in a sharp, abrupt manner, but in a way in which the music fades away gracefully as the light of day moves into the dimness of evening.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: William Parker Trio
  • CD Title: Painters Spring
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2000
  • Record Label: Thirsty Ear
  • Musicians: William Parker (bass), Daniel Carter (alto & tenor sax, flute, clarinet), Hamid Drake (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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