Reviews – GERALD CLEAVER • WILLIAM PARKER • CRAIG TABORN
............................ ..Farmers By Nature...(AUM053)

ALL MUSIC (Guide): FAVORITE JAZZ ALBUMS OF 2009

ALL ABOUT JAZZ-NEW YORK: BEST NEW RELEASES 0F 2009 (Honorable Mention)

Ethan Iverson of THE BAD PLUS on Farmers By Nature
:
“A classic recording that should have the widest possible audience.”

 

POP MATTERS
"This 65-minute improvised set by drummer Gerald Cleaver, bassist William Parker and pianist Craig Taborn is a success of the highest order.  It’s an auspicious debut to say the least…establishing the trio as a powerful entity via the formidable amount of magic that transpires throughout the performance." –Scott Hreha

NEW YORK TIMES
“..these three musicians interrogate one another with patience and poise. Mr. Cleaver, a drummer, and Mr. Parker, a bassist, both resist the easy pull of tempo; Mr. Taborn, on piano, filters every melodic urge through a fractured prism.” –Nate Chinen

VILLAGE VOICE
"Fully improvised, the trio's poetic abstractions have a pastoral side that comes from digging the soil and growing something valuable. It's a testament to rumination, and whether they're storming or floating, the kinetics are the compelling kind."  –Jim Macnie

POINT OF DEPARTURE
"This lively collaborative trio delights in free improvisations full of a remarkable variety of color, texture, energy, and melody. Yet despite the wide range and contrasts, the music never loses its coherence or sense of purpose...everyone is listened to and supported and offers up suggestions and ideas that turn into fruitful directions for the band to explore. Like the farmers of the album’s title, this trio excels at planting kernels of sound and letting the music flower and flourish."  –Ed Hazell

ALL ABOUT JAZZ #1
"Like seeds planted in the fertile ground of inventiveness, the trio's ideas germinates into enthralling music that is organic and spontaneous. The sheer movement and constant exchange of ideas flows like a tidal wave of energy. When taken in its entirety, it is simply stunning."  –Mark F. Turner

"The ensemble behaves like a symbiotic ecosystem from which is harvested a truly original product."
–Lyn Horton, All About Jazz #4

ALL MUSIC GUIDE
“Free jazz and free improv do mainly hail from – and thrive in – urban centers, but seldom have they felt this organic in the last decade or so. The title and the acoustic instrumentation all hint at the teeming life to be found inside this music. It gives up its secrets slowly, but the gems hidden in this sonic earth are plentiful, poetic, and remarkable.”  –Thom Jurek

CREATIVE LOAFING
****
“..three of the most accomplished improvisers to be found anywhere in a completely extemporaneous setting. The level of interactivity is at a ridiculously sophisticated ebb, each player leading and reacting equally, the trio moving organically from minimalist solo forays to manic crescendos...the immersed listener will find it a most invigorating ride.”  -Eric Snider

EXCLAIM!
“What sets this CD apart is the degree of dynamism found in the music. There is space for the music to breathe and reflect, and for the listener to do the same. There is also a sense of occasion that's reminiscent of the Art Ensemble of Chicago's performances, and this is reinforced by the intense musicality and attention to detail that these musicians display. This is music of diversity, thoughtfulness and commitment, and an object lesson in spontaneous composition.”  –Nilan Perera

FREE JAZZ blog
****½
"Sometimes you don't need to listen long to an album to notice its value. And this one surely redefines the piano trio as it is known. On this fully improvised set, three of today's best musicians create some eerie accessible music, giving the impression that none of the instruments plays solo, while in fact all three are soloing all the time, jointly weaving an open-ended texture of notes and phrases. The title refers to their job of seeding music, something that will grow organically along the way, out of its roots and stems, unpredictable yet recognizable from its origin. There is nervous tension all through the album, with the musicians reacting fast to one another, needing only a hint to move the piece on in the same coherent direction, like leaves sprouting in fast forward from growing plants. Don't miss it." –Stef


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