BassDrumBone – The Other Parade (CF 223)
Rating: Five Stars
The story keeps unfolding for this fabled trio that released its first outing in 1978. With rest stops along the way, the musicians’ synergy remains as a source of amazement, coupled with their perpetual creative sparks that sculpt a route embedded with fresh concepts and supreme musicianship. BassDrumBone pursues steamy New Orleans funk, vast modes of expressionism, and cunning improvisational dialogues. The artists whirl through linear unison lines and abide by an open-air musical forum via persuasive theme constructions. Variety is a predominant factor here. Yet they close the album on a simple and rather somber note during the title piece, “The Other Parade.” Here, trombonist Ray Anderson’s blustery notes and soul-searching lyricism is underscored with vocal attributes atop drummer Gerry Hemingway’s punctuating backbeats and bassist Mark Helias’ firm bottom-end. It’s a dirge-like motif, where the band gradually raises the pitch to instill an impression of spiritual reckoning.
The title piece is relatively simple by design, yet the musicians’ sentiment generates elements of joy and angst. With yearning lines and a penetrating mode of attack, the trio consummates this wondrous outing by soothing the program with heartfelt realism and striking imagery.