Saturday, December 5, 2009
Bass is a Hard Life
I am fascinated by bass players. They play a role in jazz that is somewhat akin to a catcher in baseball: they can see the whole field and so end up directing the play. For that reason, bass players make very good leaders. Mingus comes to mind. It must be a very hard life for a musician, because a lot of the time on a lot of albums, you just can't hear them very well. It's hard to tell by listening that an album recorded with a bassist as leader isn't really a saxophone album, or whatever instrument is upstaging the big fiddle.
Anyway, this weekend I have been listening to a recent acquisition by William Parker. Parker is an avant garde master about whom I have blogged previously. At that link you can find a sample from Parker's recording Painter's Spring. It is a brilliant cd, and one of those recordings where the title and the cover art are really part of the experience.
Peach Orchard is a two disc recording issued under Parker's name and the band IN ORDER TO SURVIVE in the late 90's. Cooper-Moore plays piano, Rob Brown alto sax, and Susie Ibarra drums. The compositions are rather long and musically complex. It is compelling, high energy jazz. Here's a sample:
Give it a listen and let me know what you think.