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DOPOLARIANS

«The Bond»
MAHAKALA MUSIC

The original line-up of the American Dopolarians sextet featured two legendary heavyweights – drummer Alvin Fielder, once a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra and founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in his last recording session before he passed away in January 2019 and New Orleans-based tenor sax player Kidd Jordan. The sextet was rounded by New York-based double bass master William Parker and Arkansas- based alto sax player Chad Fowler, pianist Christopher Parker and Parker’s wife-vocalist Kelly Hurt, all three musicians began their musical careers in Memphis. Dopolarians released its debut album, «Garden Party» (Mahakala Music, 2019). You can read our review HERE.

The new line-up of Dopolarians features another great drummer, Brian Blade, known as the leader of his own Fellowship Band, and from his work with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. and another comrade from the Memphis scene, trumpeter Marc Franklin, in addition to William Parker, Fowler, Christopher Parker and Kelly Hurt. «The Bond» pays homage to the inspiring force of Fielder and the spiritual power of free jazz and the inclusive, democratic spirit of jazz legacy. The album was recorded in November 2020, «on the very day that the world breathed a collective sigh of relief over the defeat of a racist presidential incumbent» at Marigny Recording Studio in New Orleans, the very site of their initial sessions with Fielder.

«The Bond» offers three extended, improvised pieces, all highlight how the collective hive-mind of Blade, Fowler, Franklin, Hurt, Christopher Parker and William Parker conjures up strong and gripping textures, all flow in a natural, almost telepathic manner and with great empathy and affinity. Blade, in one of his freest performances on record, and William Parker form a massive and powerful rhythm section that pushes constantly the sextet forward. Franklin, together with the wordless vocals of Hurt, add an expressive lyrical dimension to the front-line of Fowler and Christopher Parker. The opening, title-piece presents Dopolarians in its most relaxed, playful mode, while the following, 30-minutes of «The Emergence» alternates between urgent, energetic outbursts and more contemplative segments, all emphasizes the central role of William Parker as the rhythmic axis of Dopolarians as well as the poetic interplay of Hurt and Franklin. The last, short «The Release» is a moving ballad that highlights, again, the powerful, close interplay of Dopolarians.

Eyal Hareuveni 

William Parker (b), Brian Blade (dr), Kelley Hurt (v), Chad Fowler (as), Christopher Parker (p), Marc Franklin (tp) 

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