Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

152

William Parker and Hamid Drake: Summer Snow, volume 2

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
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 Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Jazz Flute Traditions" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "The Way of It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Deep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Adam's Apple" CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!