Marshall Allen/William Parker/Drake/Jordan/Silva —
All Star Game ... CD Eremite, 2000. Used ...
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
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
A beautiful trio, and one with a vibe that takes us back to the loft jazz scene in New York during the 70s – with a loose, open quality that's really wonderful – as the trio builds up their sound through very sensitive interplay – never letting ego get in the way of their performance as a group, yet still allowing for plenty of space for individual improvisation as well! Sabir Mateen is wonderful throughout – blowing in this strongly spiritual mode in tenor, with a quality that rivals his performances on the Eremite label – and bassist Sirone has this commanding tone that's still incredible after all these years – alongside sensitive work on drums from Andrew Barker, who also recorded the session. Titles include "Infinite" and "Flowers" – each of which take up a side of the record! LP, Vinyl record album
Reedman Sabir Mateen makes some wonderful contributions here – blowing tenor and clarinet with the sort of soulful, searching tone we love on his work for the Eremite label – which makes for a great contribution to the music of Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on bass, and Gerald Cleaver on drums! The Shipp/Parker pairing are as wonderful as ever – and very much well suited to each other's very dynamic shifts here – which can even be striking on some of the more laidback, mellow moments – some of which feature Mateen really impressing us on clarinet! Cleaver can come full-on when needed, but then really lays back – almost allowing the group to be a trio, except when he's called upon to deliver the right dose of energy. Titles include "Atomic Note", "New Tension", "Irrational", "Gasp", "Cosmic Joke", "Our Lady Of The Flowers", and "Silence Blooms". CD