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William Parker: Luc's Lantern

Mark Corroto By

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You might not get bassist William Parker to agree, but his music has always focused on assemblage and order. You can hear it in the large congregations of his Little Huey Creative Music Ensemble or his work with Cecil Taylor and Peter Brötzmann. His internal logic always is expressed by his sheer will and determination to communicate his message to the listener.

As his projects get more intimate, as in this trio session, his music becomes more accessible. Like O'Neal's Porch (Centering, 2001), Raining On The Moon (Thirsty Ear, 2001), and Scrapbook (Thirsty Ear, 2003), Parker's exploration of music, a bit more inside than out, is sure to draw more listeners.

Luc's Lantern is an acoustic piano trio date with relatively unknown pianist Eri Yamamoto and drummer Michael Thompson. No need for DJs and remixed beats; Parker's bass provides a large presence. As with Mingus before him, his pulse is up front and always felt.

The opener, "Adena," pulses a steady groove with Thompson accenting cymbals and Yamamoto dropping chords around the head-nodding beats. Parker can craft songs of pure energy like the title track or pull back into an introspective mood, as on "Song For Tyler." His simple music displays beautiful melancholy without being derivative or patronizing.

The complexity of a piece like "Morning Sunset" finds Yamamoto giving us a bit of Matthew Shipp's style of dense block chords and backdoor swing. She certainly is up for whatever game Parker calls. You have to admire her penchant to play behind the beat on a swinging tune like "Jaki." Their Byard tribute extends to the very soulful "Phoenix," which can also be a link to Horace Parlan.

This amazing album ends with the very short bowed improvisation "Candlesticks On The Lake." There certainly will be a demand for more of this trio.


Track Listing: Adena; Song For Tyler; Mourning Sunset; Evening Star Song; Luc

Personnel: William Parker - Bass; Eri Yamamoto - Piano; Michael Thompson - Drums.

Title: Luc's Lantern | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings


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