319

Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn: Farmers By Nature

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn: Farmers By Nature While Farmers By Nature is the debut of the year-old trio featuring Detroit-born drummer Gerald Cleaver, New York City bassist extraordinaire William Parker, and in-demand keyboardist Craig Taborn, it is by no means its first performance as a unit. Together the trio has fuelled the flights of saxophonists Rob Brown on his acclaimed Crown Trunk Root Funk (Aum Fidelity, 2008), and Roscoe Mitchell as part of his Note Factory ensemble as well as violist Mat Maneri's small group on Sustain (Thirsty Ear, 2002), among many others.

Cleaver was the driving force in forging the trio, whose initial gigs were so noteworthy that they had Parker wishing they had been taped. When AUM Fidelity boss Steven Joerg heard, he made sure that their next meeting, in June, 2008 at NYC's The Stone, was recorded, with this expansive collectively improvised production being the result.

Though demarcated into separate tracks this is in fact a continuous 65-minute concert. Given the participants' not inconsiderable force in other settings, their collaboration veers towards the understated, in an organically unfolding discourse where different voices dominate at different times, but with ego subsumed to serve the collective outcome.

Secure in his rhythmic abilities, Cleaver never overpowers. His lightly clattering percussion ushers the others forward without coercion, maintaining propulsion with cymbals and shakers. It's not until the conclusion of "Fieda Mytlie" that he starts driving hard, even touching on a funky 4/4. Parker meanwhile deploys the full panoply of string bass technique, and it's a pleasure to hear so much of his adventurous bowing. Measured resonant plucks at the start of "Fieda Mytlie" morph into an extravaganza of bent notes and scuttling fretwork in a bass solo replete with muffled slaps, taps and voice.

Confirming the democratic nature of the trio, pianist Taborn is by no means the amen player here, using his rippling runs and arpeggios to further the trio's atmospheric designs. As a result the contrast is all the stronger when he does cut loose with darting two-handed runs and forceful crashes as in the powerful "Not Unlike Number 10," which is the highlight of the disc.

From the darkly subdued opening, where phantom sampled voices mutter against indeterminate scumblings, by way of the probing piano and bass interactions of "Cranes" to the jazzy propulsion of "In Trees," and the emphatic conclusion of "Fieda Mytlie," this set is a testament to the trio's active listening and group ethos.

Visit Gerald Cleaver, William Parker and Craig Taborn on the web.


Track Listing: Korteh Khah; The Night; Cranes; Not Unlike Number 10; In Trees; Fieda Mytlie.

Personnel: Gerald Cleaver: drums; William Parker: bass; Craig Taborn: piano.

Title: Farmers By Nature | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Pastures" CD/LP/Track Review Pastures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Trane 90" CD/LP/Track Review Trane 90
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Knock A Hole In It" CD/LP/Track Review Knock A Hole In It
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Mobiles Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Mobiles Vol. 1
by James Nadal
Published: May 1, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.