Allen/Drake/Jordan/Parker/Silva: The All-Star Game (2003)
With Allen and Silva on one side and Jordan and Parker on the other, the apex of this five- pointed star is drummer Hamid Drake, acting as the fulcrum for each see-saw of sound. Through it all his cymbals shimmer and his drum kit rolls, rumbles, and punctuates each statement, whether whispered in the program's softest moments, or shouted in its hardest.
The All-Star Game is like those old math movies we'd see in school, where animators would demonstrate how large rectangles were made up of smaller squares, and stars were constructed from endlessly interconnected triangles, lines linking with each other in infinite combinations. In the finest improvising units, one musician does something, then another reacts to that, then another does something, and in a few bars, they're all reacting to each other, with independence and individual voices, but with respect for the whole, and with a unifying vision.
The unifying vision here is hard blowing matched to equally hard swing, with the occasional relaxed passage to give us all a chance to catch our breath. For nearly 75 minutes they have at it, and not a single note is wasted.
This review originally appeared in All About Jazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. I 9:54 2. II 12:06 3. III 13:34 4. IV 11:16 5. V 11:33 6. VI 16:58
Personnel: Alan Silva - Bass; William Parker - Bass; Marshall Allen - Alto Sax; Hamid Drake - Drums; Kidd Jordan - Tenor Sax.
Record Label: Eremite Records
Style: Modern Jazz