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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Drake/Beger/Parker - Evolving Silence Vol. 2 (Earsay, 2006) ****

It must be clear that I am more than a little crazy about Hamid Drake and William Parker, the best "drum&bass" duo of the world. And "Evolving Silence, Vol. 2" confirms this again. This is the second CD of a series of recordings that the duo had in Israel with Albert Beger, an Israeli sax-player/flautist, who is not really known, but he deserves otherwise. His playing is creative, precise, sensitive, melodious. It's bizarre that the CD was issued as two albums because they actually form one, and with some effort they might even have fit into one CD, because both are relatively short : 42 and 40 minutes. Other downside : you can only order them in Israel, but the good news is that they arrived within a week's time.
Then there is the music : exactly as I like it. Pulsing and complex rhythms with seas of freedom to move for the whole trio. You can hear the players enjoy the interplay, reacting to each other, coming back to the main theme, just to move away from it through free improvisation. The first piece is powerful, furious even, but also melodic. The second one is a free improv of flute and bass. Beger sings, howls, snorts and heaves through his instrument, but rhythmically and ending with a slow and beautiful solo. On "Funky Lacy" Drake takes the initiative, and we get his typical powerful beat, with little touches in between, drum-rolls, deleted shots, funking like hell. Beger and Parker join the fun. "Skies of Israel" is a menacing and slow piece, lead and controlled by Parker who conjures a beautiful melody out of his arco. Then unisono with Beger, in a serpentine interplay. You can hear the pain, the loss, the fear, the despair, ... Parker plays some wonderfully shrill tones in the high notes, piercing your heart, then the trio brings the song to an end, sensitive and joined by common feelings. Remarkable! This last piece alone makes the purchase worthwhile.

Parker's daughter studies in Israel, which explains his presence there.
Both albums are now available for download on
To order a hard copy :