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 Title:               Celebrating William Parker at 65

 By:                  Bobby Zankel and the Wonderful Sound 6

​ Released:       2017

 Format:          CD

 Catalog No:    MW 962-2

 EAN:               5906395187232

 Price:             12 EUR

Celebrating William Parker at 65 by Bobby Zankel and the Wonderful Sound 6 album cover

1.  Celebrating William Parker at 65 Suite Part 1

2. Celebrating William Parker at 65 Suite Part 2

3. Celebrating William Parker at 65 Suite Part 3

4. Celebrating William Parker at 65 Suite Part 4



Muhammad Ali – drums
Dave Burrell – piano
Diane  Monroe – violin
William Parker – bass
Steve Swell – trombone
Bobby Zankel - alto sax

Recorded by Eugene Lew at the Painted Bridge Art Center in Philadelphia, January 21, 2017

What the critics say:

This excellent album was recorded live in Philadelphia during January of 2017 with an all star band consisting of Bobby Zankel on alto saxophone, Muhammad Ali on drums, Dave Burrell on piano, Steve Swell on trombone, Diane Monroe on violin, and the dedicatee, William Parker, on bass. They create torrid, swaggering free jazz, smilier in scope and scale to the scalding music made by Albert Ayler's mid 1960's group with Michael Sampson. The group plays one four part suite entitled "Celebrating William Parker at 65" that makes for a tremendously exciting album, taking the humanistic and joyous swing of Parker's own music and conjuring up a wide range moods with powerful solos and very impressive ensemble playing. Parker is extraordinary throughout, blending his voice with the other musicians whether bowing or plucking the bass. The intensity of the music is heightened by the dramatic interplay of the musicians, with some brilliant solo spots emerging like the swooping and swaying violin and epic bowed bass features which are exchanged during the third part of the suite. Zankel is a very lively saxophonist, and his unfettered and emotional solos during parts one and four of the suite are highlights of the set. The music may be one continuous improvisation, but there is an overarching structure that builds a real sense of tension and develops through the malleable intensity of the rhythm section. It is the spontaneity of the music that is one of its most heart warming features because the musicians interact with each other individually and as a group whole in real time, creating music that is in constant motion, using gradations in volume and texture to explore all of the musical possibilities that this setting allows. The music flows like a deep and powerful river, filled with eddys and currents of melody and rhythm. The music has a deep seated spirituality, but not something that is dogmatic, rather a sense of inclusiveness that is a balm in these troubled times.

- review courtesy of Tim Niland and


Philadelphia has had a long history of great jazz sax players who were born or moved there: John Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, the Grubbs brothers (nephews of Trane), Odean Pope. Byard Lancaster and Sabir Mateen.  Add to this list of Philly sax greats, Bobby Zankel, who moved there in 1975 and who has recorded a half dozen great discs for the CIMP, Cadence Jazz and Dreambox labels. 
It turns out that Bobby Zankel also worked with Cecil Taylor, as well as with William Parker and Hamid Drake. Mr. Zankel put together a marvelous sextet of Downtowners like William Parker and Steve Swell, along side of four of Philly’s finest. The only musicians that I wasn’t previously familiar is violinist Diane Monroe who fits right in. This set was recorded at the legendary Painted Bride Art Center in January of this year (2017). Mr. Zankel starts off alone with what sounds like a familiar. melodic theme, poignant yet transcendent, before the rest of the sextet soon joins him, building in exuberance. Mr. Zankel has a tart, expressive, fiery tone on alto sax and sounds great at the center of the storm erupting tightly around him. Longtime Philly legends like Dave Burrell and Muhammad Ali (brother of Rashied Ali), have been playing free/jazz for more than fifty years and they do sound like they are masters of that type of music. Violinist Diane Monroe, who was/is a member of the String Trio of New York, takes one of the first solos and sounds consistently creative. This disc is dedicated to the amazing William Parker who is often at the center of this sextet, pumping up a storm. There is an excellent duo of Mr. Parker and Dave Burrell in an early section where they toss ideas back and forth at a furious rate of exchange. There are a number of extraordinary solos erupting throughout this disc from Mr. Zankel, Steve Swell, Dave Burrell and Ms. Monroe, as well as a great drum solo from Mr. Ali midway. In each of the four parts, Mr. Zankel plays a memorable theme which always rings true and stays with us after the disc is over. OUTstanding on several levels simultaneously.

- review courtesy of Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG  

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