591

William Parker: Double Sunrise Over Neptune

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
William Parker: Double Sunrise Over Neptune Following Roy Campbell's Akhenaten Suite and Bill Dixon's 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur, bassist William Parker's Double Sunrise Over Neptune is the third release from AUM Fidelity this year to document premiere performances from the 2007 Vision Festival. Heavily influenced by West African, Middle Eastern, and East Asian traditions, this two-part suite is a prime example of Parker's concept of universal tonality—a kaleidoscopic tour-de-force that encapsulates the festival's multicultural aesthetic.

Parker plays a supportive role on double reeds and doson'ngoni, putting aside his bass to lead an all-star 16 piece ensemble that boasts a complete string quartet, a full horn section, two drummers, and assorted instrumentalists.

Difficulties recording the premiere of the long-form suite necessitated a second take the following afternoon. The majority of the album is derived from this session, with the closer, "Neptune's Mirror," culled from the previous evening's live performance. "Morning Mantra" and "Neptune's Mirror" reveal subtle variations on the same theme, while the sweeping epic "Lights of Lake George" is the album's conceptual centerpiece, with "O'Neal's Bridge" a transitory miniature.

Hypnotic bass ostinatos and percolating polyrhythmic vamps drive these extended compositions, as nuanced melodic kernels periodically emerge and subside from the churning miasma. A bevy of stirring soloists contribute pithy statements; Joe Morris's nervy guitar, Brahim Frigbane's plucky oud, Rob Brown's pungent alto, and Jason Kao Hwang's plaintive violin all feature prominently, but it is North Indian singer Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay's otherworldly vocals that dominate the proceedings.

Bandyopadhyay's three-octave range, microtonal intonation, and undulating phrasing lends gravitas to the Universal Consciousness lyrics of "Morning Mantra," while "Lights of Lake George" and "Neptune's Mirror" reveal plangent vocalese derived from devotional hymns.

Parker maintains tonal variety by augmenting serpentine grooves and counter-weaving solos with a series of novel arrangements. As the horns and percussion drift away toward the conclusion of "Morning Mantra," only the strings remain to weave a shimmering mosaic of woolly textures. On the opposite end of the sonic spectrum, the expansive "Lights of Lake George" climaxes with a barrage of staccato horns that explode in a thicket of caterwauling dissonance.

One of Parker's most fully realized large ensemble recordings, Double Sunrise Over Neptune is cosmic groove music with a global flair—a seamless merger of Eastern and Western traditions conveyed with passionate conviction.

Track Listing: Morning Mantra; Lights of Lake George; O'Neal's Bridge; Neptune's Mirror.

Personnel: William Parker: double reeds, doson'ngoni, conductor; Lewis Barnes: trumpet; Rob Brown: alto sax; Bill Cole: double reeds; Sabir Mateen: tenor sax, clarinet; Dave Sewelson: baritone sax; Jason Kao Hwang: violin; Mazz Swift: violin; Jessica Pavone: viola; Shiau-Shu Yu: cello; Joe Morris: guitar, banjo; Brahim Frigbane: oud; Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay: voice; Shayna Dulberger: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Hamid Drake: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano" CD/LP/Track Review EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano
by Doug Collette
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Wash My Horse In Champagne" CD/LP/Track Review Wash My Horse In Champagne
by James Nadal
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!