William Parker/Hamid Drake: Piercing the Veil

On this duet recording, Parker steps out of his role as anchorman entirely, exposing not only his arco work but also a heavy dose of multi-instrumentalism. Before the album runs out, Parker spends serious minutes on the balafone, the slit drum, the shakahachi, the bombard and the doumbek. His bass work is still, however, the most exciting thing on the disc even though it doesn’t get a whole lot of microphone time. The rest is full of tiny, simple and folkish gestures on wind instruments and hand drums-jams that fade more often than they conclude. Though it has its moments, Piercing is pretty much a side note.