Review: Hamid Drake, Albert Beger, William Parker - Evolving Silence Vol. 2
Evolving Silence Vol. 2
|Artist:||Hamid Drake, Albert Beger, William Parker|
|Album:||Evolving Silence Vol. 2|
|Date of Release:||2006|
|Country of Release:||IL|
|Sub-Genre/s:||Free, Avant-Garde, Post-Bop, Contemporary|
|Date of Review:||2011/03/07|
Evolving Silence Vol. 2
Released in 2006 on the Earsay label, Albert Beger's Evolving Silence Vol. 2 (credited as Hamid Drake, Albert Beger, William Parker) is part of a recording session from early in 2005 that also gave rise to Evolving Silence Vol. 1, released the previous year.
If you ever wondered what makes Israeli sax man Beger one of the greatest free jazz exponents of all time, the two Evolving Silence albums are more than ample and eloquent explanation in themselves and cemented Beger's position in perpetuity. Beger is also the indisputably most melodic and lyrical of free jazz players, and here proves that yet again, too.
On Evolving Silence, Albert Beger is teamed up with the equally legendary American free jazz/avant-garde rhythm section of Hamid Drake on drums and percussion and William Parker on bass and (on Vol 1 only) African hunter's harp. If you already like Drake and Parker, you might discover that this is their finest ever album, just as much as it is Beger's finest yet up to that time. The two volumes of Evolving Silence, although released about a year apart, really should be considered as a double album and are treated here as such for the most part.
The combination of these three extraordinary musicians is far more than the sum of its parts - it is like a star being born, exciting, dangerous, sometimes violent, always beautiful.
Like Vol. 1, Evolving Silence Vol. 2 consists of four tracks. Here, three of these are Beger originals, the other one is a completely improvised duet. This latter, Duo #3, sees Beger giving another rare outing to alto flute (he originally started on flute) rather than his usual tenor sax. This is an amazingly evocative performance, with Beger and Parker trading long, sometimes almost percussive solos and Beger using techniques such as 'breathing' through his flute and various kinds of vocalisation. The whole album is simply hauntingly beautiful, with Drake's often extremely subtle, even delicate drums and percussion and Parker's finely judged lyrical bass providing the perfect complement and balance to Beger.
What is always so extraordinary and remarkable about Albert Beger's music is perhaps above all its wonderful accessibility. Evolving Silence Vol. 2 is no exception. Anybody who might have been put off free jazz by its not infrequent difficulty of accessibility really ought to listen to any Beger album to get a different perspective.
Evolving Silence Vol. 2 is as thoroughly consistent as any Beger album and more than just compelling, too. It exerts a kind of irresistible magnetism from the first few notes right through to the last that never lets up. Beger, Drake and Parker are all deeply spiritual in their music making, and this spirituality is one of the great strengths of this music. There is also no shortage of wit and charm, and beauty, though of a slightly different, less haunting nature than on Vol. 1. There also is a great sense of passion here, often punctuated by Beger's impassioned tenor. On both volumes, the creativity and inventiveness of all the players never let up.
Beyond essential in any free jazz/avant-garde collection, Hamid Drake, Albert Beger, William Parker's Evolving Silence Vol. 2 (which really should be considered as a double album with its companion, Vol. 1, as already mentioned) firmly belongs in any decent contemporary jazz collection. Evolving Silence is simply too good to miss.
In February this year, Albert Beger teamed up again with Hamid Drake for a duo gig as part of the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival. An extraordinary performance by all accounts, this has fortunately also been recorded and will be released later in the year - something to look forward to indeed!
1. Evolving Silence - 13:14
Albert Beger - tenor saxophone, alto flute
Hamid Drake - drums & percussion
William Parker - bass
Evolving Silence Vol. 2 can be purchased:
From the artist
From Amazon.com (also as MP3s)
From Amazon UK (MP3)
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