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Overview: Double Sunrise over Neptune is a journey through space and time. Performed by 16 piece ensemble the music has a spiritual and transcendental feel to it. It bears closest resemblance to Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders work of the late 60's and early 70's. It also reminds me a bit of the version of Spanish Key from the Miles From India CD released in spring '08. While the CD has some free moments, it is for the most part groove based with a repetitive bass line holding down structure throughout the song and improvisation over the top. Strings (violin, viola, guitar, banjo, and oud) are very nicely layered together with reeds (sax, clarient, double reeds) which create a very textured and deep sound. The music is perfectly complimented by vocalist Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay whose chants and "Asian/Indian Scatting" really make it sound like music from another world and time. Throughout the album there is a solid percussion framework laid down by Gerald Cleaver, and Hamid Drake.
Performers: Lewis Barnes (trumpet), Rob Brown (alto sax), Bill Cole (double reeds), Sabir Mateen (tenor sax, clarinet), Dave Sewelson (baritone sax), Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Mazz Swift (violin), Jessica Pavone (viola), Shiau-Shu Yu (cello), Joe Morris (guitar, banjo), Brahim Frigbane (oud), Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay (voacals), Shayna Dulberger (bass), Gernald Cleaver (drums), Hamid Drake(drums), William Parker (double reeds, doson'ngoni, conductor)
Song Highlights: Neptune's Mirror: Anchored by a chromatic bass line, this song really takes off with Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and one of the sax players start trading off on solos. At first Sangeeta does some crazy chants/scatting and the sax player repeats what she sang note for note.Read more ›
large ensembles with vocals are often plagued with a tendency towards the ponderous. it takes much skill and not a small degree of confidence to pull something like this together in a way that remains both coherent and interesting. Mr. Parker is up to the task here. he even manages to induce shades of mind-blowing rapture that has grown rarified over the past couple of decades. this is jazz with some teeth in it. i'm glad that this performance has garnered the attention that it deserves.
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I RECENTLY BECAME AWARE OF THIS FINE BASS PLAYER. HE ASSEMBLES I GUESS SOME OF THE BADDEST YOUNG NEW YORK CATS AROUND HIM, AND INSTANTLY YOU HAVE SOME GREAT AVANTE GARDE MUSIC. WITH COLTRANE'S DEATH THIS WING OF JAZZ HAS FALLEN BY THE WAY SIDE. CATS LIKE SONNY SIMMONS, DAVID WARE, OR FRED ANDERSON DO NOT GET AIR TIME ON THE FEW JAZZ RADIO STATIONS THAT ARE LEFT. I FOUND THE MUSIC HERE HYPNOTIC AND DANCED THROUGH OUT THE FIRST TUNE ON THIS CD. HERE IN CHICAGO WE HAVE A RADIO D.J. WHO CALLS HIMSELF THE "JAZZ DOCTOR"! THE "JAZZ DOCTOR" THINKS NOTHING OF BORING YOU WITH TWO HOUR OF NOTHING BUT CHARLIE PARKER OR SONNY STITT, AND WOULD DECRY LISTENING TO ONE TUNE BY FRED ANDERSON. WILLIAM PARKER ALSO DEFIES THE NOTION THAT A BASS PLAYER COULD BE A GREAT BAND LEADER. AFTER CHARLIE MINGUS, I CAN NOT THINK OF ANY GREAT BANDS COMING OUT OF A BASS PLAYER AS THEIR LEADER !
With all due respect to the views of the others contributing, it struck this listener that this album elevated somehwat indulgent experimentation over the desire to make music. Ponderous - yes. Not at all engaging. With some experimental music one finds a thrill in the ride that the music gives you, not knowing where it will swoop, climb or dive. This cd was elephantine, without the grace of the elephant.
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