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I read chat room messages about free bassist William Parker last month with much amusement. You see, someone was making the argument that William Parker is faking it! The 'it' being his chops. The argument raged. He had fooled so many, including all those sessions with Charles Gayle, Matthew Shipp, Roscoe Mitchell, David Ware, and Cecil Taylor. Scandalous! Cool! After I tossed a flame or two back at the poindexter, I paraphrased what Louis Armstrong said when asked what jazz was, 'If you gotta ask, you'll never know.' I'm here to deem this disc, uh-um'authentic. Joel Futterman dances over the keyboards on the short opening piece. Switching to soprano saxophone, Futterman and Parker wrestle a heavily physical part-one of the nearly hour long title track. Back to piano, Futterman and guitarist, Jimmy Williams trade-off on the quilting of a complex dialogue. Why do I feel that this is a movie trailer? Spills. Chills. The Earth is in danger. See William Parker as the moody Sheriff, Joel Futterman as the outlaw and Jimmy Williams his sidekick. Free jazz might not save this world. But in some galaxy far, far away.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.