Reviews - WILLIAM PARKER & HAMID DRAKE volume 2: Summer Snow ...(AUM041)

"It seems almost preposterous that it's taken this long for another [duo] recording to appear, but for men so busy and with an album as good as this one, the delay is certainly forgivable." - Adam Strohm

"This latest installment of the Parker-Drake double act finds our two heroes in typically compelling form. .. Although both are supremely gifted virtuosi, capable of expressing themselves as expansively as possible, they are also skilled in the art of restraint, measure, balance. In fact at several junctures in this session, the music really comes to life precisely because it breathes rather than stifles under a barrage of notes, as might be the case were two less experienced and less emotionally intelligent players in the frame. .. The grand achievement of Parker and Drake is that they combine the breadth of sounds of a large group with the chemistry and conversational intimacy of a small group, leveling the playing field between two distinct strands of jazz band history." - Kevin Le Gendre

"Summer Snow is the second studio recording from the adroit rhythm team of bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake. Their first duo recording, the poly-ethnic exploration Piercing the Veil (AUM Fidelity, 2001), was recently reissued together with the previously unreleased live concert recording First Communion. This sequel finds the telepathic pair delving even deeper into indigenous cultural traditions for inspiration. The album takes a shadowy detour half-way through, beginning with “Sifting the Dust.” Scintillating metal harmonics and resonating echoes from water bowls, gongs and chimes pervade this haunting musical landscape all the way through “Traces of the Beloved.” Summer Snow incorporates jazz improvisation into myriad ethnic traditions in a satisfyingly organic way. Blending cultures and aesthetics, this is global music in the truest sense, equal parts uncharted future and primordial past." - Troy Collins

"The mere juxtaposition of the words summer and snow present a paradox infiltrated with energy. To move from the idea of one word to the other in itself requires a conscious shift in imagination. To invest meaning into the metaphor requires openness and belief in its potential dynamic. The duo of William Parker and Hamid Drake forges a bond that bolsters that dynamic in another release of their duo sessions called Summer Snow. When the two play, their sound is as hot as a summer’s day and as clear as individual crystals of snow. We hear a true translation from one track to the next of how the rhythm of life can weave differently through each day." - Lyn Horton

".. What's fascinating about the new disc, though, is how American if feels at times. "Pahos", which features both men drumming and overdubs of Parker's shakuhachi , sounds like a field recording of a Native American powwow. On the other hand, "Edge of Everything" is an abstract soundscape that implies electronic manipulation, though none took place. Every step in this pair's musical journey has been fascinating, and it's far from over." - Phil Freeman

5 weeks in Canadian Jazz Radio Top 10; peaking at #2

"Throughout the history of jazz there has been an unfortunate rivalry between musicians from Chicago and New York. Though this has sent ripples throughout the scene, some have, however, managed to put differences aside and used their skills to create wonderful and engaging music. Such is the case with New Yorker William Parker and Chicago resident Hamid Drake. Summer Snow is their second release as a duo. Much like their previous outing, each brings a special tone and mode to the collaboration, moving from free improv to loose and casual structures. Drake is a skilled multi-percussionist who's able to induce a trance with nothing more than a bass drum and/or handheld frame drum, and here he uses both as well as gongs and tablas. Parker's deep, dark and heavy tone can be heard on his mainstay bass not to mention water bowls, dumbek, talking drum, shakuachi, and doson'nguni. Minimal earthy rhythms with intricate and ancient overtones are the foundations for the listening experience here. With this collaboration both show that they can move beyond egos and get down to business." - Daniel Givens

"All of our natural and otherworldly elements are at the duo's command, whether they be ethnic music sources from Asia, Africa, greater Europe, the Middle East, or the heartland of the U.S.A. This is exactly what one should expect from these masters of creative improvised music, and is delivered in spades." - Michael G. Nastos