William Parker and Hamid Drake Piercing the Veil and First Communion

This double CD is made up of a re-release and a live recording by one of the most formidable rhythm sections in modern music: Hamid Drake and William Parker. First Communion is the title of the live recording portion of this release and is a tour de force of powerful improvisations that ebb and flow in a continuum that profoundly references the AACM’s credo of "Great Black Music: Ancient to Future.” The set starts with an excursion into the world of frame drums, tabla, balafon and shakuhachi, which grounds the listener in the music, sounding akin to an intimate village circle. From there it morphs into full on bass and drum kit conversations that speak not only to Drake and Parker’s superb craft but their innate sense of conversation as composition. The pieces ebb and flow with moments of reflection running counterpoint to the ferocious intensity, all firmly rooted in the African diasporic experience. It’s an experience reflected not only in sound but in the way the music organically forms itself. It’s big, strong, happy music. (Aum Fidelity)