A major & very well done feature on William Parker in the October 2008 issue of DOWNBEAT by David French, with photos by Bill Douthart is available on newstands now, and for the first time ever, DOWNBEAT presents their whole new issue online. Just use the page pull-down and go to ‘40’, or use the ‘Contents’ tab and it will be obvious where to click ‘Yes’.
NPR/Fresh Air: What better way to mark this wondrous album's release date than a review on NPR that same day!
And, wow! Yes indeed...
POINT OF DEPARTURE
“Bassist-composer William Parker’s quartet may be the best working band in jazz today ... No one in the band ever simply marks time; there’s a stream of invention from reed player Rob Brown, trumpeter Lewis Barnes, drummer Hamid Drake, and the leader that never lets up. Their notes seem to have a gravitational attraction to one another; they fairly slam together and fuse into one joyful sound. Every track [here] contains examples of their unexcelled collective and individual brilliance. On songs (Parker’s term) such as the “Groove Sweet” medley and “Four for Tommy,” the music undergoes continuous, beautifully synchronized transformation, the foursome’s elaborations on the melodic and rhythm elements of the tunes growing ever more urgent and celebratory ... There’s something singing at the center of Parker’s deep woody sound, something that animates his bass lines with an intense warmth and humanity, and it radiates outward through the group. The quartet embraces every possibility in the music with equal enthusiasm—pure sound, melody, groove, pulse, are all treated as viable modes of expression. Their liberated and disciplined use of the music’s possibilities makes this a deeply hopeful and uplifting album.” –Ed Hazell
Here is a direct link to the full review; just scroll down to bottom of page when you get there.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ #1
“This superb studio session features the same passionate swing and heartfelt lyricism that made their debut record, O'Neal's Porch an instant classic. Few veteran working groups are able to balance inside/outside traditions as gracefully as Parker's flagship ensemble has over the past decade.” –Troy Collins
ALL ABOUT JAZZ #2
“The profound humanity of the music they make renders labeling irrelevant, especially when they assert so strongly and joyously the virtues of human beings interacting on an almost telepathic level.” –Nic Jones
DOWNBEAT – 4-star review in November 2008 issue
"Trumpeter Lewis Barnes and saxophonist Rob Brown speak in the inside-out language first articulated nearly a half-century ago by Ornette Coleman [and Don Cherry]; they know and love what's come before, and their playing is infused with its lore, but they won't let themselves be fettered. Instead, they take Parker's melodies, fill them with joy, sorrow and adventure, and make them fly." –Bill Meyer