Luís Vicente / John Dikeman / William Parker / Hamid Drake: Goes Without Saying, But It's Got To Be Said

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Luís Vicente / John Dikeman / William Parker / Hamid Drake: Goes Without Saying, But It's Got To Be Said
It has been more than half a century since the oracles Albert Ayler and John Coltrane proclaimed their message of freedom to the people of earth. Please excuse the grandiosity of the above statement, but after those two giants passed, a shift in consciousness began to take hold. In the biography of William Parker Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker (Duke University Press, 2021), Cisco Bradley relates how the passing of Ayler and Coltrane affected the young bassist and inspired him to dedicate his life and music to freedom. Half a century later, the flame lit by the prophets burns bright and powerful in this session.

Bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake need no introduction. The pair have been on the front lines of the vanguard for decades. On Goes Without Saying, But It's Got To Be Said they collaborate with Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente and tenor saxophonist John Dikeman. The music demonstrates how the listener can connect the dots of free jazz from Coltrane and Ayler to Don Cherry, David S. Ware, Fred Anderson, and to this new generation of torch carriers.

Recorded in2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, the music is life affirming. As Parker writes in the liner notes, "When It comes down to it I have to go with free improvisation playing without thinking but not thoughtless," and regarding the virus he suggests musicians are "saved every time they played." Within the context of a global pandemic, one might expect music to be urgent and marked by a certain trepidation, but it isn't. Opening with "1st Sentence," Parker's bowed bass and Drake's drum kit, the quartet settles into a 27-minute interaction where energy is traded back and forth not unlike a well-drilled, yet spontaneous sports team. With Dikeman, we hear that Ayler sound which blisters paint, and Vicente's trumpet which mixes parts of Bill Dixon with Don Cherry. Parker, switching to pizzicato, maintains the pulse throughout and Drake has the remarkable ability to swing even in the environs of free jazz. Their "2nd Sentence" is a brief prayer of introspection; opening with the buzzing growl of Vicente's trumpet and the Spanish-tinge of Dikeman's saxophone, the quartet delivers devotional music. The final track, "3rd Sentence" finds Drake's vocals and frame drum fitted with Parker's gimbri, a three string sintir from the Gnawa people. Vicente and Dikeman trade a call-and-response not unlike imagined birds in a forest. The sounds are hypnotic and comforting, and in the time of Covid-19, hopeful.

Track Listing

1st Sentence; 2nd Sentence; 3rd Sentence.


Luis Vicente: trumpet; John Dikeman: saxophone.

Additional Instrumentation

William Parker: double bass, gimbri, gralla, wooden flutes; Hamid Drake: drums, percussion, voice.

Album information

Title: Goes Without Saying, But It's Got To Be Said | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: JACC Records

Post a comment about this album


Shop Amazon


J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter
Liudas Mockūnas / Arvydas Kazlauskas
Chapter One
Marieke Koopman
Gerald Cleaver


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.