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William Parker, Conny Bauer, Hamid Drake

Tender Exploration

Label: Jazzwerkstatt

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

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“Tender Exploration” reminds me of Hayao Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle”, it’s an enormous metallic machine on spindly legs, walking like a toddler, but also steaming, mumbling,  panting, a creature full of energy, and inhabited by a fire demon.  “Drake”, the first track”, starts seeking for a structure almost clumsily, the band members seem to have to find each other. But soon they have a good chemistry and Bauer, who dominates this piece in spite of its name, adds his huge repertoire of techniques including German march and parade music, circus melodies, bop, new music and free improvisation to the complicated and varied rhythms. “Parker”, a four-minute-bass-solo-interlude, then functions as the bridge to “Bauer”, the last track, which exemplarily lives from the clash between Parker’s and Drake’s African jungle rhythms and Bauer’s European heritage. It is a constant puzzle in which the individual musicians try to uphold the structure in turns, Bauer with a rock riff played on the trombone, Parker/Drake with a tightly knit web of difficult rhythms leading into a marvelous duet in the middle of the track. Every now and then the whole thing is about to fall apart but they always manage to get it on track. (Martin Schray on Freejazzblog.org)

Details
Cat. number: jw121
Year: 2013

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