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Album Review

William Parker: Mayan Space Station

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William Parker: Mayan Space Station
The immediate impact of the recording Mayan Space Station is that of a sheer out-and-out physicality presented by this music. While it is obvious the musicians—guitarist Ava Mendoza, bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver—are engaged in the nonautomatic operation of their respective musical instruments, their Herculean efforts are conspicuous. While rarely recognized, credit must be given to engineer Jim Clouse who recorded, mixed and mastered this session to center the listening experience on the band's energy.

What he captured are six compositions by William Parker for an electric guitar/bass/drums trio that draws as much from heavy rock and psychedelia as it does from the jazz and blues tradition. From the opening fire-breather "Tabasco" to the dénouement of "The Wall Tumbles Down," the most descriptive word here is scorch.

Mendoza's electric guitar comes from the same school as that of Sonny Sharrock, Hedvig Mollestad, and Raoul Bjorkenheim. This take no prisoners approach is undoubtedly why Parker chose her for this project, just as other artists like Jon Irabagon and William Hooker have utilized her talents. Same goes for Cleaver who can be heard with Parker in such projects as Farmers By Nature with Craig Taborn, his organ quartet.

The title track may best exemplify Parker's electric guitar trio philosophy. With Cleaver laying down a chugging forward pulse, Parker first pulls handfuls of notes from his bass before applying his bow to cast dense energy fields across this nearly fifteen minutes of exuberance. All the while, Mendoza is casting psychoacoustic soundings of dynamic positiveness to the world. Rockers say "Amen." So do the psychedelic and spiritual jazzers.

Track Listing

Tabasco; Rocas Rojas; Domingo; Mayan Space Station; Canyons Of Light; The Wall Tumbles Down.

Personnel

William Parker: bass; Ava Mendoza: guitar; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Album information

Title: Mayan Space Station | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


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