eMusic Review 0
William Parker impishly continues to confound pigeonholing. The monster free jazz bassist and ex-Cecil Taylor sidekick has in the past three months released discs mixing meringue, accordions and African polyrhythms (The Olmec Series), deployed his 12-piece Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra for a tribute to the late bassist of the Modern Jazz Quartet (For Percy Heath), cut a live duet with drummer Hamid Drake (Volume Two: Summer Snow), and now resurrected his Raining On the Moon sextet for more vocal political poetry with gospel-blues underpinnings.
Raining On the Moon is comprised of Parker's ace quartet (Drake, Parker, trumpeter Lewis Barnes and alto saxophonist Rob Brown) plus two vital women, vocalist Leena Conquest and pianist Eri Yamamoto. Conquest is a bit of an acquired taste: She's neither a “pretty” nor a technically dazzling singer, but can deftly plumb the depth of Parker's poetry, unveiling its sweet and sour tang without the rote anger or bushy-tailed naivete a more overwrought interpretation could impart. That's a crucial skill when you're pleading for African unity on a song entitled “Tutsi Orphans.” Yamamoto likewise can smooth the mood without obscuring the vibrance. Her crisp intonation and serene command create… read more »