In Order to Survive

Peach Orchard

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The Peach Orchard is a two-CD set showcasing bassist William Parker's work with an ensemble consisting of composer/instrument maker/pianist Cooper Moore (who limits his involvement in music to Parker's groups), improvisational saxophonist, Rob Brown and percussionist extraordinaire Susie Ibarra (Assif Tsahar, Matthew Shipp Trio, Davis S. Ware Quartet, One World Ensemble). This cream of the New York, contemporary, free jazz scene veers from such challenging, busy compositions as the explosive first track "Thoth" to such reflective pieces as "Moholo," basically a study in rhythmic intricacy featuring a five-minute introduction led by Ibarra to the 19-minute piece. Brown is eloquent and lyrical as he sails up and down scales through "Three Clay Pots." The title track is inspired by the devastation of a cherished Navaho orchard by an oppressive U.S. Army. The lengthy piece (20:45) is the quartet's collage of hostility and deep sadness. Disc Two opens with the profound and eerie "Posium Pendasem #3." Assif Tsahar joins the group on bass clarinet for the melancholy, piano-led piece. The beautiful mystery of autumnal changes are explored in "Leaf Dance," at once both bittersweet (Brown's lines) and playful (Cooper Brown). A traditional jazz melody acts as bookends for a series of Latin, common-time, and extemporaneous, thematic variations in "Theme For Pelikan." The band's theme, "In Order to Survive," a lively, rollicking and urgent composition fueled by the growing intricacy of Cooper Brown's part closes this two-disc set that offers new discoveries upon every listen.

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