William Parker/Joe Morris/Hamid Drake: Eloping With The Sun (2003)
Choosing African instruments, percussionist Hamid Drake and bassist William Parker create trance-inducing rhythms for guitarist Joe Morris to play the banjo (yes, a banjo) and banjouke behind, over, and around. Morris, who is known to whip guitars into spaghetti-like chords of sound, eschews the noodles for a distinctive high-end sound of the banjo and the ukelele-like banjoukle.
William Parker choses a sintir, the four-stringed Morrocan bass lute, to propel energy lines throughout. Its sound, a whirling drone buzz associated with Gnawa music, may be a bit foreign to jazz ears. Together with the frame drumming of Hamid Drake, the pair creates a meditative statement not unlike an Indian raga.
Their almost Luddite music preference causes listeners to be off balance at first. But given a chance, this music gels. Their repeated patterns reveal minute changes and intricacies. The dreamlike state created allows for the distinct taut sounds of Morris' choice of instrumentation.
Track Listing: Sand Choir; Dawn Sun; Hop-Kin; Stepdance; Dream.
Personnel: William Parker: Sintir; Joe Morris: Banjo, Banjouke; Hamid Drake: Frame Drum.
Record Label: Riti Records
Style: Modern Jazz