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Kidd Jordan / Hamid Drake / William Parker: Palm Of Soul

Nic Jones By

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A sense of ritual pervades this music, and these three masters show how potent a force it can be. The idea of evocation is a fraught one, however, especially when the result is more the evocation of others than the projection of a musical identity unique to the performer. At times here Kidd Jordan evokes the spirit of Albert Ayler, but this seems to be more coincidence than conscious intention, and perhaps it's only natural when the music is an example of an honoured strand of the tradition. Besides, Jordan gives so much of himself that he could act as a working definition of individual expression.

William Parker serves as a second percussionist almost as much as he does a bassist, and the outcome is music of a radically different character to what many listeners might have been expected. On "Living Peace" Drake is all over his kit, simultaneously serving the group's needs as only a musician of his stature can—this is also evident on "Last Of The Chicken Wings," where he and Parker share on percussion duties. One might be tempted to argue that all three musicians have developed some telepathic ability, so sharp is the standard of their interaction on this one.

This is ultimately one of those instances where larger forces may have shaped the music in some way. Jordan had his New Orleans East home wiped out by Hurricane Katrina just three weeks prior to committing this music to record. The fact that his performance here seems not even remotely shaken by such trauma is tribute indeed to the human spirit and how indomitable it can be—a bastion of strength in these troubled times.


Track Listing: Peppermint Falls; Forever; Living Peace; Unity Call; So Often; Resolution; Last of the Chicken Wings.

Personnel: Kidd Jordan: tenor saxophone; William Parker: bass, guimbri, gongs, bowls, talking drum; Hamid Drake: drums, tablas, frame drum, voice.

Title: Palm of Soul | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


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