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Sound Unity

3 May 2005 | Format: MP3

7.49 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for 11.72 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
1
12:34
2
10:45
3
8:55
4
21:05
5
8:51
6
8:19


Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 May 2005
  • Label: AUM Fidelity
  • Copyright: 2005 AUM Fidelity
  • Total Length: 1:10:29
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001EA0D9I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,369 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
pure 8 Jun 2005
By John C. Graham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an outstanding set of tunes, recorded live in montreal and vancouver last year. All six tunes are penned by Parker. They all have that rhythmic pulse that only Parker and Hamid Drake are able to create. Call it groove or call it swing, it's irrisistable. Nobody does it as well as Parker and Drake. Nobody.

Lewis Barnes and Rob Brown are an ideal horn team to play over top of the pulse. They are both strong ensemble players and spectacular soloists. There are no weak moments on this disc.

This is easily one of the top releases of this or any other year. Absolutely essential listening.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The Quartet - Live! 3 May 2005
By Troy Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jazz bassist and composer William Parker is the penultimate Renaissance Man. Founder and organizer of NYC's Vision Fest, big band leader, sideman extraordinaire and duo partner with such scene luminaries as Hamid Drake and Matthew Shipp, Parker has demonstrated his talents in almost every conceivable setting. But it is in that most traditional of post-bop line-ups that Parker's true genius manifests itself, the piano-less quartet. Although they only have one previous album available, 2000's magnificent studio recording: "O'Neal's Porch," their lack of catalog has not diminished the group's importance or level of acclaim. Recorded live (with studio quality sound) in Vancouver and Montreal, "Sound Unity" is the triumphant follow up fans have been waiting for.

The album features all new tunes played with the stylistic variety and passionate intensity that this group is admired for. Parker's quartet writing is surprisingly melodic considering his avant garde credentials and all of the tunes feature catchy, memorable melodies. There are bouncy mid-tempo swingers such as the opening cut, "Hawaii," and the retro-cool swagger of the noirish "Harlem." "Poem For June Jordan," is a magisterial ballad, but the order of the day is the vigorous but accessible free-bop found in the jaunty, angular "Wood Flute Song." Parker's interest in traditional ethnic music is represented with the Africanized bass modal vamp that introduces the title track and "Groove" features Hamid Drake delivering a shuffling reggae rhythm that takes the album out on a gentle but joyous note.

The ensembles harmonic and rhythmic interplay is so remarkable that one can't help but be reminded of Ornette Coleman's classic quartet. Rob Brown's keening tart alto is often the hot Yin to Lewis Barne's cool muted trumpet Yang and Parker is not only the foundation, but a mighty soloist as well. To say there have been few other jazz bassists since Charles Mingus who are as melodic as Parker is no casual overstatement. As a rhythm section, the Parker-Drake axis is an unbeatable combination, from thrashing primal energy to subtle, nuanced call and response, these two can and have played virtually everything together. Widely considered one of jazz's finest rhythm sections, Parker and Drake's symbiotic rapport is well documented with "Sound Unity" as ample proof. This quartet exemplifies the art of jazz improvisation at its most telepathic level, a group that will easily go down in the history books as revered as Miles Davis' second quintet or John Coltrane's classic quartet.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was an audience member for the Montreal set and so can readily attest to the remarkable performances contained herein. A note on the sound quality for audiophiles; although the audience can be heard briefly clapping in the distance after individual solos, there is no other obvious indication of their presence. The endless applause that normally plagues live albums before and after tracks has been mercifully edited out and so the album flows seamlessly. The band is well miked and up front in the mix, so the entire recording is virtually studio quality.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Quartet 3 May 2005
By Matthew Rosecan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Mr. Parker's first album with this group, O'neal's Porch, rightfully received excellent reviews, appearing on NY Times top 10 list, and so on. The group did release another album a couple years ago with a vocalist, so this is essentially the second album featuring only the quartet.

It was released in late March by AUM Fidelity through their website, which is why I, and it seems the below reviewer, have heard this CD many times. I've listened to it almost every day for the past month, and I still look forward to listening it.

Parker has said that he would like his Orchestra to sound like a quartet- no easy feat considering the huge sound of it. At times I feel like this quartet sounds like an orchestra, and not because they play particularly loud or aggressive. As a matter of fact, this album is in many ways very straight ahead, full of melodies, walking bass, in the pocket drumming, and intertwined sax and trumpet. The reason I say that it sounds like an orchestra is that sometimes you can just hear something bigger than the four players. It has nothing to do with volume. It might be that they play so naturally, effortlessly, and with such confidence in each other, that they become not only "a whole greater than the sum", but an entire new entity. That may seem like hyperbole, but anyone who has seen William Parker play live knows that many strange things are possible.

More simply put, I think anyone can listen to this album and right away "get it". This is not avant-garde, or free, or straight ahead, or whatever other label there is. It is excellent music- and it also makes my crappy hour long commute somewhat enjoyable.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
How do you review jazz? 8 Feb 2006
By John Terry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm a relatively recent admirer of jazz. My collection is growing but by no means comprehensive. I'm in awe of the reviewers in Downbeat Magazine and some of the ones on Amazon as well. They know the techniques the players use and precisely what a particular musician did at a particular moment to make the sound he or she made. I can't do that. All I can say is I was curious about this album after the "Best of 2005" designation by Amazon and bought it. What can I say? I love it! The greatest compliment I can give a jazz album is the fact that I can listen to it from beginning to end without moving a muscle. I'll probably take a shot at more titles by Mr. Parker and have already purchasedanother Amazon "Best Of" by Drew Gress. I guess I have a thing for free jazz bass. If that's not the correct term then I just really liked both albums a lot.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I still hate choosing the # of stars 12 Dec 2007
By Pharoah S. Wail - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The magic of the William Parker Quartet (WP - bass, compositions. Hamid Drake - traps. Rob Brown - alto. Lewis Barnes - trumpet) is that somehow they give the impression that they're a rather straight ahead, inside band, but they're not. They move outside with ease and beauty. They don't get ruthlessly outside or do it in a manner that scares some people away.

I have a bunch of albums with William and he's one of my peak, favorite musicians of all time. Rather than give a flat-rate of 4 or 5 stars to all of the ones I love or really like, I try to place them within the strata of his other releases. This is a heck of an album but if someone were asking me for one or two definitive albums illustrating why William & Hamid are my favorite bass & drum duo (and the core of most any band they're in), this wouldn't be THE ONE. Though I'm giving 3 stars, it's well above the lifetime best of many other musicians. It's just not The All-Star Game.

Lewis and Rob dance, weave and crash against each other over the top of the grooves laid down by William & Hamid... but grooves less volcanic and muscularly visceral than on Never Too Late But Always Too Early. This is what I mean by them being an outside band than gives an inside impression. When I haven't listened to them for a few months, my mind reverts back to thinking of them as William's straight-ahead band. Then Hawaii, Wood Flute, and Sound Unity (the song) always prove me wrong.

I give this 3 stars because within the past year, Corn Meal Dance and Alphaville Suite were released. I feel they surpass even an album as strong as this one, so I should take my number of stars for those two albums into account when reviewing this one.

I always thought Poem for June Jordan was great here (instrumental). Then when Corn Meal Dance featured the lyrics, it expanded my appreciation. Both versions are strengthened by the existence of the other. To experience this beautiful poet yourself, get Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan.

Maybe 3 stars looks low but I've never come close to regretting this purchase. I've listened to this a ton of times and will continue to do so, loving it all the while. I finished listening to it again tonight and that's what made me say "Man I love this album, I need to finally review it!". One of my issues though has always been that there are times during it where I wish William's bass was more out front.
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