Thursday, August 27, 2015

William Parker, For Those Who Are, Still, Review: Part Two of Three

As promised in yesterday's post today we continue the discussion on William Parker's landmark three-CD box set For Those Who Are, Still (AUM Fidelity 092/93/94).

The second disk is at hand today, entitled "Red Giraffe with Dreadlocks." It is a unified, multi-part work that extends the music into world zones via Indian classical vocalist Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, Senegalian griot Mola Sylla on vocals, m'bira and ngoni, world-oriented double-reedist Bill Cole, Rob Brown on alto, Klaas Heckman on bass saxophone and flute, Cooper-Moore on piano, William Parker on bass and Hamid Drake on drums.

Universal tonality is the aim. a melding of the world and the local, new improv artists of distinction and international stylists following a ravishing Parker compositional game plan in six movements, covering ethnic grooves, vocal prowess, "free" collective-solo moments, and multi-voiced compositional excellence.

We who revel in classic Don Cherry multiculti and Pharoah Sanders in his cosmic pan-African phase find common ground on this set, not in some derivative way but with its own well-defined sense and feel.

Cole, Brown, Cooper-Moore, Hekman, Parker and Drake are especially important to this offering with their open improv stance and their making-present of the compositional structure. The contributions of Sangeeta and Mola take center stage at critical points as well, happily and masterfully. And of course it's all about synthesizing and making tangible through sound the universality of musical-tonal consciousness on our planet.

And so with "Red Giraffe with Dreadlocks" we get another spin on the Parkerian realm with music that stands out in its openness, its compositional integrity and brilliance.

Tomorrow, we continue with the final installment and a look at the third volume in the set. Until then.

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