William Parker & Hamid Drake – Piercing The Veil

William Parker & Hamid Drake – Piercing The Veil

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Hamid Drake: drums, tablas, frame drum, bells
William Parker: bass, balafon, shakuhachi,
bombard, dumbek, slit drum

When William Parker & Hamid Drake first met (in Peter Brötzmann’s Die Like A Dog quartet), it was destiny. Two giants; cloth cut from the same patch of stars. One of the peerless rhythm sections in music.

It was in the Spring of 2000 that this extraordinary relationship was made lock-tight and eternal; when they made manifest their two-man "rhythm-and-ritual orchestra." This studio session and their first communion concert two days previous took place in April. The O'Neal's Porch album, which introduced William Parker's tremendous new quartet, was recorded in May. Here/hear then, a perfect union of infinite rhythm and song from many worlds..

"A common myth says that holy men must speak in tongues. Take a tour here, and you'll learn that these two high priests of free improvisation can rock 'n' roll with the best of 'em .. they come together to create sounds, images, and ideas that transcend time and place." –Nils Jacobson, All About Jazz

"Displaying a full spectrum of sound, this is a magical recording of two of the most soulful and spiritual voices in avant-garde jazz. This album is nothing short of essential." –Phil Waldorf, Other Music

"#1 on CMJ Jazz Charts for 4 weeks"

"Full of the dread which dub derived from Africa - right into your living room. Wild." –Ben Watson, Hi-Fi News

"The first track alone sounds like a summation of the entire history of the bass and drums in jazz. From this rip-roaring start the music moves on to display the sort of eclectic jazz-meets-world music aesthetic that has become common jazz parlance, but it's rarely done with such class and integrity as here. A remarkable and distinctive disc and - good news - this is only volume one!" –Philip Clark, Jazz Review

"William Parker and Hamid Drake are the best rhythm section in jazz right now. The opening cut is pure dance music – the pair never lose the groove, but they crank it up and out, heading to a place where ecstasy supersedes intellect. Other cuts on the disc feature Parker on Middle Eastern, African and Asian instruments, while Drake plays frame drum and tablas to trance-inducing effect. It's a fascinating exploration of multiple sound worlds." –Phil Freeman, Alternative Press

"Piercing The Veil is also very close to Jamaican dub. That comes more from the hypnosis and sensuality of the playing than any rhythmic rigidity or echo chamber antics but the parallel is clear enough. At the end of the day this music remains a tremendously freewheeling affair, with the virtuosity of the players carrying them from ostinato to rubato in the blink of any eye. Drake and Parker are a two-man big band with big sound and big ideas, a vision of the joyous, emotive waters that flow from the confluence of African-American, African, Middle eastern and Asian musical rivers." –Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise

1. Black Cherry - 02:42
2. Chatima - 06:17
3. Heavenly Walk - 03:44
4. Japeru - 04:41
5. Nur al Anwar - 03:56
6. Piercing The Veil - 02:50
7. Loom Song - 06:35
8. Chuang Tzu's Dream - 08:44
9. Bodies Die / Spirits Live - 04:26

All songs composed by William Parker and Hamid Drake;
© Centering Music (BMI) / Smiling Forehead Music (BMI)

Produced by Steven Joerg
Recorded by Michael Marciano on April 3, 2000
at Systems Two Studio in Brooklyn
Mixed by Joerg and Marciano at Systems Two
Mastered by Chris Flam at Mindswerve in Manhattan
Cover photographs by Michael Galinsky