Clip: Brötzmann, Parker and Drake
Brötzmann, Parker and Drake
Truth Be Told
writer: JORDAN WEEKS
German saxophonist and clarinetist Peter Brötzmann has once again joined
forces with the storied, powerful rhythm section of drum phenom Hamid Drake
and omnipresent arranger/bandleader/bassist William Parker. The double-disc
Never Too Late But Always Too Early (Eremite Records, 2002) is Brötzmann's
latest recording with Drake and Parker as a trio, and cements this weighty
triumvirate's reputation as one of finest crews currently operating in jazz
-- and possibly one of the best ever to have graced the idiom.
The album comes dedicated to irreplaceable jazz presence Peter Kowald, who
was Brötzmann's close friend, bassist, bandleader, FMP record label founder
and who passed away last September. Never Too Late is a fitting tribute,
with moments of exhaustive sonic splendor giving way to subtler pianissimo
forays that stretch the imagination of both player and listener. Mr. Kowald
would be right proud.
Never Too Late boasts a number of life-affirming moments of creative
confluence and moments of rare beauty, like the magnificent, groove-heavy
interplay between Drake's drumming and Parker's ostinato-figure magic on
the doussn' gouni, an African harp instrument, during "The Heart and the
Bones." Such passages remind us of why we first began playing or listening
to music, and they have to include an inescapable element of emotional
honesty, transferred from player to listener (and vice versa), of which
Brötzmann is well aware. In a recent interview in U.K. music mag The Wire,
he implored readers and fellow musicians, "If you have something to say,
say it. You can say it loud, you can say it soft, but you have to be
straight and tell the truth."
Brötzmann, Parker and Drake perform at 8 p.m. Tue., May 6 at the Rex
Theater, South Side. 412-381-6811.
- Hamid Drake comes to town a few times a year to play with IsWhat, a
very cool hip-hop/spoken word project. Check 'em out:
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