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:
William Parker-IN ORDER TO SURVIVE/Three Clay Pots/Peach Orchard
 Give it a listen and let me know what you think. 

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