Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake - From the River to the Ocean
Hamid Drake is definitely one of the most exciting drummers in jazz music. His collaborations with William Parker are nothing short of amazing. Likewise his work with fellow native Chicagoan and elder statesman of jazz Fred Anderson. I've seen Anderson and Drake a handful of times in concert, together and separate, and every show has been wonderful. The thing I like about the two of them is that they work within a broader spectrum of jazz than most musicians do. There will be wild, free improvised solos that maintain a deep swing. There will be traditional jazz forms, passages in the music that could be labeled jazz in the strictest sense, yet don't sound like they are locked within the rules of the music.
Hamid Drake is an interesting fellow. I read somewhere he is a practicing Sufi. In his music he is all over the map. I saw him with a European free-form avante garde group whose music was more "art" than music; he took a 15 minute drum solo that was some form of abstract, off kilter, hip hop beat. He'll quote heavy Latin rhythms underneath wild, free form, noisy, ensemble improvisations. On more than one occasion I've seen him come out on stage alone and sit and play a large frame drum and sing in Arabic (something Hamid does on this record; the cover of the album is Hamid holding this frame drum) and literally "clap" the floor with his bare feet. And there is always a heavy presence of Reggae (he just release an album called "Reggaeology" with his group Bindu).
From the River to the Ocean is a beautiful record. I can't stop listening to it. And I think that it is a record that would appeal to just about everybody. From the hardcore free-jazz enthusiast, the more traditional jazz listener, and the music fan who may be a jazz noob.
Check it out. And if you like it, buy it. Purchase via Thrill Jockey Records. Musicians like these need our support.
jazz music in its entirety (according to Mikah Sykes): we play everything from its earliest forms at the turn of the century up through its current breathtaking renaissance - hence the name: THE CHANGING SAME. we focus on only the best sounds, the best musicians, the game-changing masters, and the influential figures that aren't household names (the latter of which are mostly all of the above, as well as mostly all we'll play), all of its sub-genres (eventually), and all of its best sounds you'll rarely hear anywhere else on the radio. the selections featured on this broadcast are not only some of the the highest forms of musical achievement, but also some of the most important musics the world has produced in the last 100 years. THE CHANGING SAME is particularly interested in the neurological effects of the spiritual aspects of jazz communication, it's role in civil rights, and it's contributions to the world of fine art and world peace. SPACE IS THE PLACE.