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Petit Oiseau

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Lending his assertive bass playing to any of a number of ensembles, William Parker has kept the spirit of free jazz alive for decades. The New York-based musician frequently collaborated with Cecil Taylor in the 1970s and by the end of that decade he had released his first album as a leader. Since then he has established himself as a busy band leader and composer. (Parker wrote all the material here.) On Petit Oiseau, he heads up a group that includes two of his Lower East Side compatriots, alto saxophonist Rob Brown and trumpeter Lewis Barnes, along with the excellent Chicago-bred drummer Hamid Drake. The album kicks off with “Groove Sweet,” a lengthy track that moves through three sections evoking influences as varied as Ornette Coleman, hard bop, and reggae. (At one point, Brown releases a darting solo that bristles with impish energy, infectious with the other players as well.) Quietly mysterious, “The Golden Bell,” features muted trumpet work from Barnes and an Eastern tinged-solo by Brown. On “Dust From A Mountain” the group goes for a different sound: clarinet and trumpet are joined by Parker on Ojibwa flute and Drake on balafon and frame drum. Petit Oiseau is a 21st free jazz keeper.

Petit Oiseau, William Parker Quartet
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Oct 14, 2008

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