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Tender Exploration by William Parker
Released: Apr 2013
Label: Jazzwerkstatt
Maybe "tender" isn't the first word you think of when it comes to the powerhouse avant-garde bass player. But check the opening section of "Drake" (named after the drummer here, Hamid Drake): The subtlety of Parker's arco bowing is a marvel. (At times it conjures a whole string section.) And when he moves into a walking-bass feel, the mood is pure cool. The two long, sinuous tracks will be best appreciated by free-jazz initiates, but the musicianship -- as with Drake's movement between pulse work and outside playing, and Conny Bauer's boisterous trombone work -- deserves wide hearing.
Seth Colter Walls
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