Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake, & William Parker —
Blue Winter ... CD Eremite, 2005. New Copy 2 CDs ...
A beautiful tribute to the strengths of these players working together in a trio – the sense of respect and patience they each have for each other – letting the sound come at just the right moment in just the right way, as things build together in this amazing way – then leap forth with a power that's even more incredible when all three musicians fall into step! Anderson's tenor gets lots of rich open space to roam around – with these deep tones that strongly echo a Coltrane legacy, almost more soulfully than other albums of this vintage – and Parker's bass is wonderful, as always, in a setting like this – and Drake's drums are a masterpiece of understatement. The set features four long improvisations – recorded live in a very warm space. CD
A wonderful follow-up to the incredible New World Pygmies set from saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc and bassist William Parker – one that not only features a double-length set of work, but also includes some guest drums from Hamid Drake on half the set! The core energy still really comes from the Moondoc/Parker pairing, though – a wonderful association that stands brilliantly here as some of the most soulful improvisation from the time – rich in spirit, strong in focus, and almost always swinging – with a balance between freedom and straightness that we really love. Tracks are all quite long – and CD one features a performance from Madison, while CD two features a Chicago set at the Velvet Lounge, with Drake on trap drums. Moondoc plays alto and soprano sax, and in addition to bass, Parker also plays bombard and gralle – on titles that include "Spirit House", "O'Neal's Porch", "New World Pygmies", "Blues For Katie", and "Three Clay Pots". CD
You're definitely not at the opera with a set like this – a batch of well-crafted improvisations between drummer Sunny Murray and reedman Sabir Mateen – who plays alto, tenor sax, and flute throughout the course of the record! Like most of the best Eremite releases, this one is a live date – but has a sense of focus that's way more than just loose improvisation – a wonderful document of two very like-minded players, coming together with an openly creative vibe that recalls the soulfulness of the loft jazz generation. Titles include "Rejoicing New Dreams", "Clandestine Giant", "Too Many Drummers Not Enough Time", and "Musically Correct". CD
Some of the most meditative, spiritual sounds we've ever heard from the great Josh Abrams – a record that goes way past his more familiar work on bass – even though that's pretty darn great! For this set, Abrams reaches out to a host of different instruments – including the harmonium, dulcimer, and guimbiri – as well as additional percussion, and acoustic bass as well – all instruments he uses in this really rich, textured way – layring the organic sounds with contributions from Jason Adasiewicz on vibes, Emmett Kelly on guitar, and Frank Rosaly on drums. The record also features a few more really compelling instruments – a bit of Arp from Jim Baker, harmonium from Lisa Alvarado, and autoharp from Ben Boye – instruments that come in towards the end of the record, to make things even more hypnotic and mesmerizing. Titles include "Dolphin Cave Dazzling", "Mysterious Delirious Fluke Of The Beyond", "Abide In Sunset", "A Lucky Stone", and "Soul Talisman". CD
The title definitely gets it right – as the quintet's an all-star lineup that features Marshall Allen on alto sax, Kidd Jordan on tenor, Hamid Drake on drums, and both Alan Silva and William Parker on bass! The twin basses are really wonderful – and have this deep texture that really shapes the performance – a sense of tone and timing that brings urgency to the record in a way that either player on their own wouldn't have been able to achieve – often with a sense of soul that really adds a lot to the reeds! CD features six long live tracks – all improvised by the group. CD
Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake, K Jordan & W Parker —
2 Days In April ... CD Eremite, 1994. New Copy 2 CDs ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Two great days in April – each featuring some very free improvisation from a group that includes Fred Anderson and Kidd Jordan on tenors, William Parker on bass, and Hamid Drake on drums – a quartet with boundless energy, and a really rich sense of each other's place within the sound! The first day features a performance from Amherst, and a relatively fiery one at that – with these unbridled sounds from all players, and some especially tremendous saxophone lines from Anderson and Jordan – often soaring out together, but with a very individual sense of space. The second day is slightly more measured – a Cambridge performance that has some nice solo spots for each player. Both dates are very well-recorded – and packaged in the usual high Eremite standard! CD
Jemeel Moondoc & The Jus Grew Orchestra —
Spirit House ... CD Eremite, 2000. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A surprisingly bold large group session from Jemeel Moondoc – one that still has all the sense of soul of some of his smaller combo improvisations – but which also soars forth with a much richer vision as well! Improvisation is still at the core of the date, handled by some very strong players – but there's also a sense of arrangement that really pushes past the usual these platforms for ensemble expression which then lead to strongly individual passages – handled by players who include Zane Massey on tenor, Roy Campbell on trumpet, Tyrone Hill and Steve Swell on trombones, Bern Nix on guitar, and Lewis Barnes on trumpet. Moondoc conducts, and plays alto – and titles include "Quick Pick", "Brass Monkeys", "Flora", "End Game", and "Spirit House". CD
Landmark work from the St Louis scene – a pivotal album by Solidarity Unit – an offshoot of that city's groundbreaking Black Artists Group! The style here is very much in the mode of AACM work coming out of Chicago at the time – freely creative, and very exploratory – although often presented here with a sense of tightness and power that's even more impressive. Charles Bobo Shaw is the key musical vision here – having wrote, arranged, and produced the record – a bold vehicle for his own creative work on percussion, alongside other players who include Oliver Lake on flute and alto, Joseph Bowie on trombone, Danny Trice on congas, Richard Martin on guitar, and Baikida Yaseen (Carroll?) on trumpet. Tracks are all long, and quite free – and titles include "Beyond The New Horizon", "Floreo", and "Something To Play On". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited pressing of 600 copies – done with very heavy, high quality vinyl, in a very heavy cover!)
Brilliant work from composer/arranger/creator Joshua Abrams – one of the most creative figures to come out of the Chicago scene in the past couple decades – no hyperbole necessary! On Represencing Josh is largely working with the guimbri – the North African traditional string instrument – plus a bit of organ, harps, and bells – used sparely alongside the core instrument. The guimbri gives the record an earthy, traditional base – as Abrams reaches out to inspire a lager ensemble that includes Chad Taylor on drums and gong, Nicole Mitchell on flute, Michael Zerang on tambourine, Jeff Parker and Emmett Kelly on guitars, Tomeka Reid on cello, David Boykin on tenor sax, and Jason Stein on bass clarinet – all familiar players, with whom Abrams has worked often – coming together here with a very spiritual vibe. Titles include "San Anto", "Represencing", "Moon Hunger", "Sound Talisman", "Sungazer", "The BA", "Enter Mountain Amulet", and "Cloud Walking". CD
A rare early session from vibist Khan Jamal – recorded with his Philly-based Creative Arts Ensemble collective! The group follows strongly in the spirit of similar combos from Chicago and St Louis – particularly the latter – and Jamal's group is working here in a mode that's initiated by the original sonic experiments of the AACM, but taken to deeper, more organic levels. Given Khan's later work, the thing that's most surprising here is the sound texture of the record – because although seemingly improvised, there's also a greater feel towards a whole here – a spacey, ethereal quality that reminds us of some of Sun Ra's most creative moments. Jamal plays vibes, marimba, and clarinet – and the rest of the group includes Monette Sudler on guitar and percussion, Alex Ellison on drums, Dwight James on drums and clarinet, and Billy Mills on both electric and acoustic bass. Although not overly electric, there's a shimmering quality to the music here – as if the production abstracted the original acoustic sound with weird echo and other techniques! Titles include "Inner Peace", "Drum Dance", "Cosmic Echoes", and "Breath Of Life". CD
The only performance ever from this really special group – the Astrogeny Quartet, formed as a new project from pianist John Blum, with key participation from bassist William Parker, reedman Antonio Grippi, and drummer Dennis Charles – but a group that never continued after this date, due to Charles untimely early demise. The energy here is quite powerful, though – with some incredibly free, fast lines from Blum on piano – driven strongly by Charles' drums, and offset with a deeper sense of contemplation from Grippi, especially at the mellower moments. As often on other dates, Parker really holds the whole thing together – and titles include "Astrogeny", "Simultanium", "Dieci", and "Encomia". CD
Peter Brotzmann blows beautifully here – in a set that's dedicated to bassist Peter Kowald, and which features some especially great work from William Parker in the group! Brotzmann's got some soulful tones right at the start – almost an exotic quality in his reeds that spins out strongly with Parker's bass and the creative drum work of Hamid Drake – often with that bold focus that can make an Eremite date like this so great! The performance is fierce, but never in an unfocused way – and Drake is really wonderfully balanced between straighter swing and some of his freer explorations on the drum kit. Titles include "Never Run But Go", "The Heart & The Bones", "Halfhearted Beant", and "Never Too Late But Always Too Early". CD
One of our favorite albums ever from this hip Peter Brotzmann combo – a group that features Brotzmann on tenor, Roy Campbell on trumpet, William Parker on bass, and Hamid Drake on drums! The session's easily one of Brotzmann's most spiritual ever – an outing that still echoes the free modes of his European work, but which really draws a strong sense of spirit from the American players on the date – particularly Campbell, whose horn soars out here boldly to give the record a strong sense of majesty! The performance is live – and features two long tracks, plus a shorter encore. CD
One of our favorite Jemeel Moodoc recordings of recent years – a sublime set of duets with bassist William Parker, and a record that's got a vibe that's even more spiritual than usual from both players! There's a sense of timelessness to the music we really love – a sense of improvisation that encompasses avant traditions in Chicago, Detroit, New York, and St Louis – but which also has a deeply personal spirit, too – as those rare moments when Parker really gets the chance to shape a session with his sense of soul – and here brings out a bold focus in Moondoc's alto that's really breathtaking. Titles include "Huey Sees A Rainbow", "Another Angel Goes Home", "Encore", "Theme For Pelikan", and "New World Pygmies". CD