Errol Parker

Live at the Wollman Auditorium

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Up until the mid-'80s, Errol Parker was often quite frustrated. His music demanded strong technique and flexible playing, yet he never seemed to be able to find the right pianist or drummer for what he had in mind, often feeling compelled to overdub himself to make a recording that would satisfy him. But by this period, he was able to put together a ten-piece band of young players who were able to handle his music. The use of seven horns freed Parker from the piano, and he stuck to the drums, where his unusual setup (replacing the snare with a conga) was much more African-influenced than usual. For this consistently exciting live set (comprised of four Parker originals, "Three Blind Mice," and Jobim's "Chega de Saudade"), Parker is joined by trumpeters Wallace Roney and Graham Haynes, Doug Harris on soprano, altoist Steve Coleman, Bill Saxton on tenor, trombonist Robin Eubanks, baritonist Patience Higgins, guitarist Rory Stuart, and electric bassist Kevin Harris. The music is quite rhythmic and sometimes funky, but certainly never predictable. The use of bitonalism (playing in two keys at once) and spirited simultaneous solos result in a fresh, if sometimes disturbing new sound. This LP is one of Errol Parker's strongest recordings to date and makes one wonder why he is still mostly overlooked.