Bill Shoemaker

Bill’s Contributions

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December 2003    Countercurrents

Songs for a Suffering World
David Budbill/William Parker/Hamid Drake

The most ubiquitous alum of saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc's '70s band Ensemble Muntu is William Parker, who, in addition to bass playing and composing, avidly pursues creative writing, which occasionally seeps into his recordings as lyrics or sleeve texts...

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December 2003    Countercurrents

Nu-Turn
Benoit Delbecq

Though he has been one of the avatars of prepared piano for over a decade, Benoit Delbecq has only now released a solo album. Nu-Turn (Songlines) is well worth the long wait, a strikingly well-defined recording featuring an immaculate Steinway D piano. Throughout...

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December 2003    Countercurrents

Tessellations for Lutheal Piano
Veryan Weston

Tessellations (Emanem) is a unique work performed on a unique instrument by a unique pianist. On this CD Veryan Weston performs on what is arguably the grandest prepared piano in history: the presumed last Lutheal piano in existence. First built in 1914...

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November 2003    Albums

Tribute to Lester
Art Ensemble of Chicago

In 1978, Art Ensemble of Chicago performed at Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art without Lester Bowie, who was touring Europe with Jack DeJohnette's New Directions. The news was met with disappointment, even apprehension. Without even looking up from assembling...

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November 2003    Albums

Extended Play
Dave Holland Quintet

Every CD the Dave Holland Quintet has recorded since its inception in 1997 has been impeccable. The albums are elegantly designed and convey a clear picture of Holland's artistry, and the Quintet's ensemble sections and solos unfailingly exude a palpable...

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November 2003    Albums

Live at Dreher Paris 1981
Mal Waldron/Steve Lacy

This new edition of these enduring club recordings by pianist Mal Waldron and soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy makes little improvement upon the last incarnation, issued only seven years ago with the same 24-bit master. The main benefit of these four CDs being...

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October 2003    Albums

The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
Miles Davis

Tailoring a jazz vocabulary to tap the American youth market in 1970 was nothing new when Miles Davis embarked on the sessions that yielded A Tribute To Jack Johnson. What separated the trumpeter's strategy from those of his predecessors was the decision...

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September 2003    Features

East Meets Left: Politics, Culture and Asian-American Jazz

If jazz is any barometer, the issue of race in the U.S. is still largely two dimensional: black and white. For a supposedly progressive art form, this is deeply troubling. And it's baffling that jazz historians still argue the African and European antecedents...

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September 2003    Albums

Never Too Late but Always Too Early
Peter Brötzmann/William Parker/Hamid Drake

By all laws of physiology, Peter Brotzmann should have exploded years ago. Since the mid-1960s, the German tenor saxophonist has maintained a level of intensity that, in nature, usually extinguishes itself in matter of hours or even minutes. If excerpts...

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September 2003    Albums

The Man Who Cried Fire
Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Hyena is the newest outlet for long-time Rahsaan Roland Kirk producer Joel Dorn's archive of live recordings by the great multi-instrumentalist. While The Man Who Cried Fire is still occasionally sighted in its original incarnation on Dorn's Night imprint...

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September 2003    Albums

Gong With Wind Suite
Lee Konitz/Matt Wilson

The billing of Paris-based Canadian tenor saxophonist Francois Theberge's album with Lee Konitz is telling. Despite having a relatively common name compared to, say, Ornette, it now almost always goes without saying who "Lee" is. What distinguishes the venerable...

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September 2003    Albums

NY-1: Live at the Village Vanguard
Martial Solal

One of the more interesting side steps in the barkering for new European jazz is the avoidance of any mention of the continent's first-generation modernists. The reason is simple, if twofold: Placing the new kids on the block within a decades-long continuum...

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April 2003    Hearsay

Kent Kessler

"Bull fiddle is what my grandpa called the bass," Kent Kessler says, explaining the title of his mostly solo OkkaDisk CD, which, given his pivotal role in Chicago's widely acclaimed creative music scene, has the jump on Overdue Debut Album of the Year honors...

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April 2003    Hearsay

Paul Rogers

"This is my dream instrument," Paul Rogers says of his A.L.L. bass, an 18-stringed instrument with 12 sympathetic strings running the length of the body and under the fingerboard. The British bassist is no stranger to unconventional instruments, having played...

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April 2003    Countercurrents

At Les Instants Chevires
Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton

Long a champion of the phrase "freely improvised music," saxophonist Evan Parker says the music on At Les Instants Chavires (Psi), the latest CD by his long-running trio with bassist Barry Guy and drummer Paul Lytton, was "composed by interactive improvisation...

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April 2003    Countercurrents

Real Time Messengers
Transcendentalists

Bearing the name of the hallowed 19th-century American intellectual movement of Emerson and Thoreau dangerously raises the stakes for an improvised music ensemble, as does giving improvisations titles like "The Effects of Selfless Giving" and "The Moment...

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About Bill Shoemaker

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