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William Parker Trio - ... and William Danced

Kurt Gottschalk, AllAboutJazz

William Parker and Hamid Drake have become about the tightest and most in-sync rhythm section around (followed closely by Hamid Drake and anyone else), and have built a floor for the roar of such powerful front men as Fred Anderson, Kidd Jordan, Peter Brötzmann, Jemeel Moondoc and Roy Campbell, not to mention being the backbone of Parker's own recent groups.

Part of the excitement the duo generates stems from Drake being an anomaly in the current free jazz: a strong, sympathetic drummer who more often than not stays within the rhythm. At this year's Vision Festival, he managed to turn the Anderson/Jordan quartet into a dance band. Earlier this year, AUM Fidelity even issued a dance remix disc of the Parker/Drake duo Piecing the Veil.

The duo is hardly under documented, however, so the interest in this release from the Swedish label Ayler is in alto player Anders Gahnold.
In three lengthy improvisations, Gahnold (previously unknown to me but who, according to the album notes, once had a trio with South African bass legend Johnny Dyani) holds his own, often keeping in the pocket but capably pushing the edges of the groove.
His alto soars, not in scream like the labels namesake, but in song, making him one of the closer fits in the list of horn players to work within the Parker/Drake avant groove.

The success of a rhythm section, at least in part, is based on how they ignite the proceedings, and the fire of this session is immediately apparent. William may have danced, but Anders no doubt smiled.