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William Parker's In Order to Survive: Posium Pendasem

Derek Taylor By

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Wood and metal, strings and sweat. With these terrestrial materials and a seemingly bottomless store of imagination William Parker has crafted some of the most celestially expansive music in the history of jazz. At first glance such a contention may appear rash and circumspect. Take a listen to virtually any of the discs Parker has graced in the nearly three decades he’s spent as a purveyor of improvised music and you’ll witness its truth. This latest release by his In Order to Survive collective is no exception and continues the inviolable winning streak.

Posium Pendasem marks the quartet’s third commercially released recording and differs noticeably from its predecessors. The most obvious variation is the fully realized presence of Assif Tsahar who bolsters the group to quintet size. His transitory contributions to last year’s Peach Orchard, on the AUM Fidelity imprint only touched at the possibilities which are actualized joyously and completely here. The second difference centers on the program of tunes, three in number and dominated by the massive “Posium Pendasem #7” which clocks in at over fifty minutes in length. The breadth and space afforded by such labyrinthine dimensions allows the group to deliver their most voluminous recorded piece to date, and rest assured, none of the time is wasted. Solos, duos, trios, quartets and complete quintet, every possible combination of players is explored across its sonic landscape. The density and momentum of the interplay is often as exhausting as it is invigorating. A front-line reed combination of Brown and Tsahar is tough to beat and the two uncork torrents of saxophonic truculence with tireless veracity atop Ibarra’s jungle of percussion. Parker’s sawing harmonics and Cooper-Moore’s pounding clusters also make frequent forays to the forefront. Given the girth and intensity of the piece it seems inevitable that the two others that bookend its boundaries should suffer by comparison. Not so. The introductory “Posium Pendasem #9,” an abbreviated feature for Cooper-Moore’s more lyrical side, and “Another Angel Goes Home,” both offer much to explore on their own. Whether your new visitor to Parker’s Tone World, or already a loyal inhabitant, this disc is one to procure and savor as soon as possible.


Title: Posium Pendasem | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Black Saint

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