All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

451

William Parker & Hamid Drake: Summer Snow

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Summer Snow is the second studio recording from the adroit rhythm team of bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake. Their first duo recording, the poly-ethnic exploration Piercing the Veil (AUM Fidelity, 2001), was recently reissued together with the previously unreleased live concert recording First Communion. This sequel finds the telepathic pair delving even deeper into indigenous cultural traditions for inspiration.

Parker and Drake expand further on the pan-global experiments of Don Cherry, Codona and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Eschewing the occasionally dissonant arco work and atonal reed outbursts of their first collaboration, this record flows with a meditative, hypnotic quality. Despite the primarily reflective aspect, the session contains a variety of moods and colors.

Parker wields an array of exotic instruments; plying straightforward folk melodies on shakuhachi, fragile pastoral arpeggios with doson'ngoni and spectral commentary via water bowls and talking drum. Drake reveals a number of percussive effects, utilizing frame drum and tablas to expressive effect.

Focusing on elemental rhythms during the album's first half, Drake's driving pulse on "Sky" spurs Parker's lyrical doson'ngoni through a maze of tempo changes and tonal dynamics. Shifting focus, Drake embellishes subtle harmonic variations during the kinetic "Pahos" while Parker interjects breathy shakuhachi accents.

The album takes a shadowy detour half-way through, beginning with "Sifting the Dust." Scintillating metal harmonics and resonating echoes from water bowls, gongs and chimes pervade this haunting musical landscape all the way through "Traces of the Beloved."

Changing gears, "Anaya Dancing" arrives like a wake up call, driving hard with upright bass and trap set. This forceful groove introduces the expansive, swinging jazz variations of "Konte," filled with riveting call and response interplay. "Faces" brings the album full circle, summoning a delicate West African melody from Parker's doson'ngoni, floating over Drake's nuanced frame drum palpitations before closing with the brief primal cry of "Hadra."

Summer Snow incorporates jazz improvisation into myriad ethnic traditions in a satisfyingly organic way. Blending cultures and aesthetics, this is global music in the truest sense, equal parts uncharted future and primordial past.


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 | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Perception" CD/LP/Track Review Perception
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "First Things First" CD/LP/Track Review First Things First
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "The Chase" CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Haberdashery" CD/LP/Track Review Haberdashery
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Crazy Lights Shining" CD/LP/Track Review Crazy Lights Shining
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 2, 2018
Read "YAZZ Band" CD/LP/Track Review YAZZ Band
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 28, 2018