William Parker - Centering
- Stewart Smith
- 21 August 2012
Six disc box set of the jazz artist's unreleased early recordings
This revelatory six disc set brings to light recordings the avant-garde bassist, composer and improviser William Parker could not afford to release at the time. Moving from thrillingly intense loft jazz duos with saxophonists Daniel Carter and Charles Gayle to stunning big band sets, Centering is testament to Parker’s creative brilliance. The way he breaks a 13-piece group down to squealing and honking alto and baritone is inspired, while his use of female vocalists for both cosmic abstractions and soulful refrains rivals Sun Ra. Big Moon Ensemble’s free bop is incredibly powerful, all squalling trumpets, wailing arco bass and torrential drums, while the Centering Dance Music Ensemble’s ‘Dawn Voice’ suite, with its eerily beautiful Stravinskian clarinet and violins, is quite breathtaking.