Tag: William Parker

  • Pleasantly Unsettling Surprises Abound at Vision Festival

    The large, multicolored image hanging high above the Abrons Arts Center stage to commemorate the 14th annual Vision Festival looked like a fish when viewed from the right. From the left, it formed something with four legs and a tail. What four-legged creature, I’m not sure, and what Jorgo Schäfer’s painting signified overall, I’m still […]

  • Jazz Consumer Guide: Festival Visions

    Jazz Consumer Guide William Parker Double Sunrise Over Neptune AUM Fidelity A large group with freewheeling horns, a string quartet (plus bass), oud, guitar (or banjo), two drummers, and an operatic singer from India named Sageeta Bandyopadhyay. Remarkably, it all holds together, paced by a metronomic bassline that Parker subcontracts so he can work on […]

  • Recapping 2008’s Vision and JVC Jazz Festivals

    Kidd Jordan felt something stir deep down inside. He just had to let it out. That’s the way the tenor saxophonist explained it during a Vision Festival pre-concert discussion when poet Kalamu ya Salaam asked, “Why don’t you just play more popular music and make more money?” In New Orleans, where he’s lived most of […]

  • Skronk On

    2007 seemed like kind of a middling year for jazz, upon casual reflection. The big deaths—Andrew Hill, Oscar Peterson, and Max Roach—were losses keenly felt in my house. But other than mourning, there didn’t seem to be as much going on with the music as there was with my other favorite genre, metal. (Chicago’s Yakuza […]

  • Enough Is Enough

    In an overheated basement beneath the Lower East Side’s Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts one recent Sunday afternoon, the hot question was this: “What is considered ‘serious music’?” At one of two discussions sponsored by the Vision Festival—a six-night mid-June celebration of (for lack of a better term) avant-garde jazz—the talk centered on the […]

  • Odd Tangents

    Pick Hits WILLIAM PARKER QUARTET Sound Unity (Aum Fidelity) This is Parker’s pianoless quartet, a format that demands two horn players who can dance—who play together even when they seem to be flying off at odd tangents. Trumpeter Lewis Barnes and alto saxist Rob Brown, little known outside of Parker’s discography, make a lovely couple. […]

  • Deliverance

    A soundman desperately tried to signal the set’s end, but WARM—an elder-statesmen quartet comprising bassist Reggie Workman, drummer Pheeroan Aklaff, and saxophonists Sam Rivers and Roscoe Mitchell—paid no attention. They were lost in a glorious balladic tune, transported to some delicate, unbound space. And the crowd that packed the Angel Orensanz Center was right with […]

  • Jazz Summer 2005

    ‘Music of Frank Zappa’: Ed Palermo Big Band June 1, 8, 15, 22 Iridium, 1650 Bway, 212-582-2121. Capital-M Music trumps satire when Palermo and company delve into Zappa’s bad-Santa bag of instrumental inventions. Keep an ear open for the excentrifical treasures from FZ’s early-’70s psychedelic-jazz period captured on the hallmark albums The Grand Wazoo and […]

  • Largehearted Music From Massive Tenor Provides Transcendent Perspectives

    The elephant on the cover of tenor saxophonist David S. Ware’s three-disc Live in the World is the Hindu god Ganesh, often referred to as the “Remover of Obstacles.” It’s as if the legacies of tenor titans such as Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane had swelled into baggage, obstacles as much as inspirations. Ware—who studied […]

  • Matthew Shipp Charges Ahead With Two Rather Different Rhythm Sections

    Regardless of what I or Wynton Marsalis might want, we’re going to be hearing more and more collaborations between jazz improvisers and beat doctors. I just hope most turn out to be half as satisfying as Matthew Shipp’s Harmony and Abyss, where (as on the equally fine Equilibrium) the beats are supplied by co-producer FLAM. […]