A new release on the Riti Records Label is ELOPING WITH THE SUN, a singularly poignant recording, featuring William Parker on zintir, Joe Morris on banjo and banjouke and Hamid Drake on frame drum.
Immaculate precision describes the quality of music in this recording. It is direct, linear, not shy. What does alter the intention of delivery is the timbre. The three instruments played on this recording are carefully chosen.
The banjo and banjouke have taut strings. Morris plays within a narrow window, dedicated to the specific ranges of the instruments: he can not pluck the notes loudly. His fingers dance in the strings, overtly repeating steps, combinations of steps, pirouettes, but they take no leaps. The sonic cogency impacts the listener with the significant value of the choice of coloration particularly when integrated with the zintir’s tones.
The zintir’s strings sound obviously more like those of a string bass than not. (A zintir is a Moroccan bass lute.) How Parker produces sound issues out a broader deeper resonance than Morris ever could pick out on his instruments. Morris is always riding on top in a distinct layer of abstraction and Parker moves underneath Morris texturally aligning within and without him to provide a wall of rhythm.
Drake substantially supports both string instruments in a powder puff of softness that emanates from the frame drum. No other kind of sound can come out of this instrument. It endows the total music picture with a roundness that balances the squareness that comes from the strings.
So, given these three unbearably distinctive lines, the music becomes nothing but energy, relentless energy on a level which cannot move out of its own boundaries. The music is central, focused and non-dissolute.
We are one with the sun, constantly burning even though we might not see it for the clouds that float in front of it.