ODIM. Five master improvisors, each with the accumulated grasp of decades of jazz history. Five musicians who know the rules yet choose to break them. Most strikingly, five individuals who constantly interconnect, wrapping musical tentacles around each other, playing as one. Time
is free jazz in the most abstract sense.
The implications of the title convey the two guiding principles of this recording: urgency and spirituality. The music conveys these ideas even better. Rarely does the pace or flow sag. And constantly underlying the music on Time is a sense of humility and searching.
Time, the second disc from ODIM, features the original quartet lineup plus the added sonority of pianist Matthew Shipp. It presents a coherent extension of the first ODIM recording, Now! : not for the squeamish, and certainly not for anyone reluctant to experience intensity. Trumpeter Roy Campbell and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter twist and trade lines in the upper register while Shipp punches and thrusts his way through the midline. Meanwhile, bassist William Parker performs his usual role as rock-solid center, the electrical ground of the group, a great unifier. Rashid Bakr, drummer and colorist, is largely freed by Parker from the role of time-keeper, allowing him to splash his way across the cymbals and twist time into a knot on the drums.
Since this is a live recording (from NYC in 1997), it suffers from a significant loss of sound quality compared to studio productions. The piano is often muddled; the drums occasionally disappear. But in the big picture, that's a worthwhile price to pay to hear collective improvisation break new ground. ODIM moves fluidly through terrain that few groups even attempt to cover. The intensity of this group comes from a celebration of melody, a profound respect for the vibrations of the universe. It's not the fierce piercing intensity of Albert Ayler and his modern disciplesinstead, a more delicate and sensitive process of discovery and transformation.
Personnel: Daniel Carter: alto & tenor sax, flute, trumpet;
Roy Campbell Jr: trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet;
William Parker: bass;
Rashid Bakr: drums;
Matthew Shipp: piano.