William Parker and Hamid Drake Volume 1: Piercing The Veil

I challenge anyone not to enjoy this disc! This meeting of highly complementary talents produces myriad killer grooves. William Parker, the hardest working bassist in jazz, and Hamid Drake, the Chicago drummer who's very active right now, simply have soul to burn. The CD starts out as one would expect, with acoustic bass and drums jamming furiously from the get go. Parker, being both bassist and lead voice, can entrance the listener with one or two notes, much like Maceo Parker (no relation, or is there?). Drake is always funky, but that understates his ability to find new, shifting rhythms within the main groove. The laid out funk of "Chatima" is an early high point. After that, each musician switches to African, Japanese and Indian woodwinds and percussion. I don't believe Parker is a master shakuhachi player, but his efforts on this woodwind again recall Maceo's technique. Drake, too, puts his own stamp on every percussion device he lays his hands on. This exciting and engaging music makes for a far more universal sound than Parker's and Drake's background might suggest. All dancers and headnodders in general should check Piercing the Veil. (Aum Fidelity)