152

William Parker and Hamid Drake: Summer Snow, volume 2

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
William Parker and Hamid Drake: Summer Snow, volume 2 The mere juxtaposition of the words summer and snow present a paradox infiltrated with energy. To move from the idea of one word to the other in itself requires a conscious shift in imagination. To invest meaning into the metaphor requires openness and belief in its potential dynamic. The duo of William Parker and Hamid Drake forges a bond that bolsters that dynamic in another release of their duo sessions called Summer Snow. When the two play, their sound is as hot as a summer's day and as clear as individual crystals of snow. We hear a true translation from one track to the next of how the rhythm of life can weave differently through each day.

Wedded to the penetrating impact of the tabla, Drake initiates our journey on the opener, "Awake, Arise. Thereafter, a portrait of our environment and humanity is painted with tabla, frame drum and drum set along with various stringed instruments and flutes on which Parker shapes simple melodies.

At the beginning, the inescapable repetition of the phrasings on the stringed instruments, integrated with the light yet forceful touch on the tabla, ground us. Drake's precision with the tabla is relentless and precious. When Parker overlays the pulse of the drums with a raspy shakuhachi line or a delicate though insistent wooden flute melody, it is as if the human voice has entered into the mix. The flutes describe an interaction with life in a way that is full of appreciation, humility, dance, song and ritual.

Halfway through the recording Drake switches to the gongs. Parker plays the shakuhachi and strokes the singing bowls. Water swirls in one of the bowls. The atmosphere has changed into one of holiness and spirituality, reaching beyond the earth to the abstract ways of the unknowable.

The next section of the recording transforms the atmosphere again. Parker fingers the strings of his bass, establishing an unswerving and impenetrable groove. Drake falls in with no reservations on the drum set: the cymbals begin to hiss and a drumstick clicks on the edge of the snare. It is time to lie back and enjoy the trance. Parker eases into moving his fingers through the strings, plucking note after note, shaping line after line, snapping string after string: his hands become extensions of his instrument. Drake plays out brilliantly on his drum set, clean and weightless, staying right with Parker on the pulse, delivering nothing less than fitting ornament and accent.

The tabla and doson'ngoni bracket the recording, revisiting a restful, contemplative place which, we are reminded with a wooden flute on the closing "Hadra, can metamorphose into a harsh reality that sings the loudest.

William Parker and Hamid Drake are an unassailable team. How many times can music be blessed with two musicians who come together and play without hesitation and without question? The answer is maybe...once, just once.


Track Listing: Awake, Arise; Sky; Earth; Pahos; Sifting the Dust; Edge of Everything; Traces of the Beloved; Anaya Dancing; Konte; Faces; Hadra.

Personnel: William Parker: doson'ngoni, shakuhachi, dumbek, talking drum, water bowls, bass; Hamid Drake: tabla, frame drum, gongs, drums.

Title: Summer Snow, volume 2 | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Our Second Set" CD/LP/Track Review Our Second Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by John Ephland
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Supreme" CD/LP/Track Review Supreme
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 25, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.