[AUM098] - CD in classic jewelcase with 4-panel insert
William Parker: bass, compositions
Leena Conquest: voice
Rob Brown: alto saxophone
Lewis Barnes: trumpet
Eri Yamamoto: piano
Hamid Drake: drums
Great Spirit is a direct companion to the album, Corn Meal Dance.
These works / this band make abundantly clear all at once William Parker’s multi-faceted talents as composer, bassist, bandleader & songwriter. Raining On The Moon is the extraordinary group vehicle which seamlessly fuses all of these prodigious gifts: his long-standing Quartet with Hamid Drake, Rob Brown, and Lewis Barnes, exquisitely augmented by pianist Eri Yamamoto on expert chordal support ++ , and singer Leena Conquest breathing further compassion & dignity into William’s lyrics.
Going back a few years.. Corn Meal Dance is one of the most beautiful, potent, luminous, and true albums of all-original song ever made. The indelible melodies and rhythms; the words, unyielding and uplifting in equal measure; the performances by all six musicians; the recording quality itself. All strictly top shelf.
The January 2007 studio session which yielded that album was extraordinarily productive. All of the material was mixed and mastered for consideration toward release, though in the end Parker and AUM decided to go with a single album. Great Spirit presents the entire balance of that work [plus a few choice bonus tracks]. The release of this additional beautiful material finally happened (!) on occasion of Raining On The Moon’s invitation to perform at the Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015.
"4-Stars. Regardless of his close association with significant figures in the avant-garde, above all Cecil Taylor and David S. Ware, bassist-bandleader-composer Parker is also, it can be rightfully claimed, a soul artist. Or rather a musician who understands the importance of the blues as a root of all modern black music. While that was made most explicit by the Curtis Mayfield tribute album he recorded several years ago, this set by his longstanding Raining On The Moon ensemble underlines the fact with a collection of quite beautiful songs. First and foremost the melodies, well served by Leena Conquest's gilded voice, stand tall in a Curtis-Rosetta-Sam Cooke gospel-fired lineage, and at times, as on "Doson Ngoni Blues", there is a distinct undertow of Bill Withers. But Parker's trump card is an ability to organically weave in elements of free improvisation and double-time swing into this emotionally rich thematic base without it sounding either incoherent or contrived. The net result is a band that brings together small group jazz sensibilities and an R&B vocabulary, albeit acoustic rather than electric, that has a depth of feeling to match all the musical finesse." –Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise
1. Bowl Of Stone Around The Sun - 09:37
2. Doson Ngoni Blues - 08:04
3. Feet Music - 05:43
4. Great Spirit - 06:43
5. Prayer-Improv - 05:52
6. Song (for Whitney) [live] - 06:22
7. Potpourri - 02:13
All compositions (music & lyrics) by William Parker, except
Potpourri, music by Barnes/Brown/Drake/Parker/Yamamoto
© Centering Music (BMI)
Produced by William Parker & Steven Joerg
Recorded by Joe Marciano on January 3, 2007
at Systems Two Studio, Brooklyn
Mixed with & mastered by Michael Marciano at Systems Two
"Song (for Whitney Houston)" was recorded live at
Suoni Per il Popolo, Montreal on June 9, 2012
Recording engineer: Lee Breyfogle
Mixed by Petr Cancura
Gaudi Bench (Park Güell, Barcelona) photos by Tara Key
Liner notes by Steven Joerg