Thursday, September 16, 2010

Leon Parker - Belief

Leon Parker continues to be one of the true originals of the day. Though it's doubtful if his spare less-is-more approach to the drum kit will be widely influential-it's likely to remain his exclusive territory-Parker's effectiveness is certain to give pause to aspiring drummers who take note; and it's liable to give drum manufacturers the shakes along the way. Declaring himself solely a percussionist, Parker has shed the perceived encumbrances of the full drum kit. To shape and round his muse here he employs the additional percussion of Adam Cruz and regular bandmate Natalie Cushman, who join the leader at the heart of this date. They are surrounded by bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and on several tracks the saxophones of regular bandmate Steve Wilson, plus Steve Davis' trombone, and Tom Harrell's trumpet and fluegelhorn. Further percussive color is lent by berimbau, marimba, and steel pan. The combination of berimbau and steel pan is new and bears further exploration as they work surprisingly well in tandem. The program, though short at an LP-length 43:11, varies from organic percussive originals to very spare and swinging arrangements of standards, such as "Close Your Eyes," and an irresistible "Sentimental Mood" with the berimbau/steel pan alignment. Belief elicits Parker's most insistent traps work as he delivers a convincing Blakeyesque shuffle. Thankfully, Leon Parker hasn't lost his original vision, which if anything is in keener focus here. - by Willard Jenkins,

Leon Parker has gained some fame for his ability to create a great deal of sounds out of a very small drum set. This interesting but not essential CD features intimate music ranging from quiet folk songs with influences from several cultures to a bit of straightahead jazz; "Close Your Eyes" has some fine alto work by Steve Wilson in a pianoless trio. Other voices include trumpeter Tom Harrell, trombonist Steve Davis, flutist Lisa Parker and bassist Ugonna Okegwo. Nice music which makes one look forward to Leon Parker's future projects. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Leon Parker
Album: Belief
Year: 1996
Label: Sony/Columbia
Runtime: 43:11

1.  Ray Of Light (Leon Parker) 5:47
2.  Village Song: Africa (Adam Cruz/Leon Parker) 2:51
3.  Close Your Eyes (Bernice Petkere) 5:59
4.  Calling Out (Natalie Cushman/Leon Parker) 4:57
5.  Belief (Leon Parker) 5:53
6.  Horizion Azul (Lisa Parker/Leon Parker) 5:34
7.  Wide Open (Natalie Cushman/Steve Wilson/Leon Parker) 4:10
8.  First Child (Jacky Terrasson) 2:46
9.  In A Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington) 4:40
10.  Untitled (Leon Parker) 0:29

Leon Parker (Drums and Percussion, Cymbals, Bells, Vocals)
Steve Wilson (Alto Saxophone, Flute) - 1,3,5,7-9
Steve Davis (Trombone) - 1,5,9
Ugonna Okegwo (Double Bass) - 1,3,5,8
Adam Cruz (Steel Pan, Bells, Piano) - 1,2,5-9
Natalie Cushman (Percussion, Vocals) - 1,4-7,9
Tom Harrell (Trumpet, Flugelhorn) - 1,5
Lisa Parker (Flute) - 6,9


  1. Thank you very much for your excellent work...
    For this cd the password is not working...Thank you again!!!

  2. Sorry guys! I made a new rar package. I'll change files. Soon (few minutes).



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