Monday, January 15, 2007

Abstract Index Playlist - January 10/07

image of the William Parker Quintet courtesy of Jeff Schlanger, please visit his Music Witness project.

Last Wednesday was pretty special. I was so honoured that William Parker dropped by in person for an interview. As a bonus, he was accompanied by Leftover Daylight organizer Ken Aldcroft and visual artist Jeff Schlanger, who documented the proceedings in a series of sketches. Schlanger was also on hand to paint the entire Interface Series in real time from his front row perch.

Parker was as gracious and giving in an interview setting as he is in live performance. It seemed like all I had to do was toss him a softball question and he would make something marvellous of the answer. Even the innocent "Were you aware that this kind of (collective creative activity of the AIMT) existed in Toronto?" prompted the hilarious retort "Well, I was walking down the street in New York one day and I felt this... vibration. I couldn't place it at the time, but now I know: it was coming from Toronto".

Topics ranged from the old days in New York where you would run into
Don Cherry and Frank Lowe down at the corner store, to his global musical consciousness (much to my surprise, he said he'd been playing the shakuhachi since the 60's, citing Yusef Lateef as a key inspiration) to the differences between improvising in an electronic setting and improvising in situations like the Interface. It was a marvellous conversation.

The funniest moment was when he asked what music I'd brought with me. I showed him one of his first discs as a leader on Thirsty Ear,
Painter's Spring, and the recent Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstruction Surgery (see here for more). He furrowed his brow and said "I didn't play on that!" I pointed out his name on the cover, and he said "Well how about that! We did a session last year and that was the last I heard of it. How does it sound?" Now, I've premiered a few discs on the show, but never before to an artist involved in the recording....

muralila - tandava (independent)
nalina kanhti - autorickshaw (tala wallah)
faster than cold - philip samartzis/laurence english (room 40)
samune -mondii (hefty)
nfm - crouched head (drip audio)
track 5, les vampires - chateau flight (ogun)
buus - terrie ex/han bennink (atavistic)
people's republic - gold sparkle trio (squealer)
blue skin - stromba (fat cat)
laagia - ngewel international (syllart)
there is a balm in gilead - william parker (thirsty ear)
the peeler - scotty hard's radical reconstructive surgery (thirsty ear)
umri ma bansa - abdel gadir salim (shanachie)
cattle herders chant - african head charge (on-u sound)
rasta fiesta - sly dunbar (darace)
won't give up the fight - twilight circus feat. fred locks (m)
we deserve - turbulence (minor 7 flat 5)
see mi yah - willi williams/jah cotton/rhythm and sound (discograph)
lioness - dub rocket feat. mela one (touchbass)

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