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DVD/FILM REVIEWS

I Am Not Your Negro: History Revisited through a Personal Lens

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I Am Not Your Negro Narrator: Samuel L. Jackson Director: Raoul Peck Distributor: Velvet Films This electrifying docu-drama invoking the eloquent words and profound personal experience of the great writer James Baldwin brings to life the stormy and transformational period of the Civil Rights movement in a way that is far more vivid than the images many saw on their small TV screens in the 1960s. The images, sound track, Baldwin's ...

LIVE REVIEWS

William Parker: 65th Birthday Celebration Concert at the Painted Bride

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William Parker and Friends Painted Bride Arts Center William Parker 65th Birthday Celebration Philadelphia, PA January 21, 2017 To celebrate the 65th birthday of legendary bassist William Parker, the Painted Bride Arts Center, Ars Nova Workshop, and Bobby Zankel's Warriors of the Wonderful Sound joined forces to sponsor a top of the line sextet including Parker in the catbird seat and Zankel at the helm. For those who don't know about Parker, he ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Jakob Baekgaard's Best Releases Of 2016

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The world seems more uncertain than ever before, but in times of uncertainty, music provides comfort and a hope that it is actually possible to communicate across borders, whether they be physical or psychological. Among the releases that caught my attention this year, the one that meant most to me by far is not on this list, and it was not even reviewed on All About Jazz, not by me or any other writer. Bassist, composer and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Cappello & Jeff Albert with William Parker: New Normal

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If sentimentality is the synonym of nostalgia, then the antonym is anticipation, and maybe a better word would be modernity. That word comes to mind spinning the trio recording New Normal by trombonist Jeff Albert, drummer Dave Cappello and their guest, bassist William Parker. Sentimentality is often associated with New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. While the uninitiated (and a certain musical family from NOLA) often look backwards to sounds of a bygone era, let us not forget ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Dikeman/William Parker/Hamid Drake: Live at La Resistenza

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The subtitle to Charles Mingus' composition “Gunslinging Bird" is “If Charlie Parker was a gunslinger, there'd be a whole lot of dead copycats," refers to the great alto saxophonist's ability to dominate a bandstand and quiet any and all comers. Parker, who died in 1955, might not have known about automatic weapons, nor the free jazz revolution which was to come in the following decade, but he certainly would appreciate a machine gunner like saxophonist John Dikeman. For ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Giving Birth to Sound: Women in Creative Music

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Giving Birth to Sound: Women in Creative Music Renate Da Rin (ed.) and William Parker (coed.) 294 Pages ISBN: 978-3-00-049279-2 Buddy's Knife 2015 Every time a book about music is written, the history of music is also rewritten and musicians are included or left out, and old and new myths rejected or confirmed. This is something that many authors are conscious about, but seldom an issue that is addressed. Therefore, it is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake / William Parker: To Roy

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Bassist William Parker has formed productive liaisons with some wonderfully expressive alto saxophone players in the past--Rob Brown and Jemeel Moondoc both spring to mind. But To Roy represents his first time on record with Oliver Lake, best known as a third of Trio 3 and a quarter of the World Saxophone Quartet. They recorded their duo album during the month of dedicatee trumpeter Roy Campbell's unexpected passing at age 61 in January 2014. Each brings a sheaf of compositions ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mikko Innanen with William Parker and Andrew Cyrille: Song For A New Decade

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Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen has hit upon a sure fire winner with his accompanists on Song For A New Decade. He has enlisted the services of a world class rhythm section in the person of bassist William Parker and drummer Andrew Cyrille, a combination which might show anyone in a good light. But Innanen possesses personality enough to thrive in their company and avoids the common pitfall of being overly reverent. In a sumptuous two disc package, well up to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Konstrukt and William Parker: Live At NHKM

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Let me propose the notion that American poet Emily Dickinson was a free jazz fan. Sure, you have to look past the fact that she died in 1886, when Buddy Bolden was but nine years old. But consider her words: “The worthlessness of Earthly things/The Ditty is that Nature Sings -/And then -enforces their delight/Til Synods are inordinate." She wrote about, and lived in a world much like that of a free jazz musician. Stowed away in her little house, ...


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