Cadence | April - May - June 2012
Review: Ken Aldcroft/William Parker "One Sunday" (trp-DS01-014)
BY: Michael G. Nastos

Pure but unpredictable improvisation with a twist best describes the style via the thorny guitar of Aldcroft, and the reliable, inspired bass playing of Parker. These excursions feature an on the edge theorem balanced by Parker’s black bottom inspiration, a shared vision that at times drifts into separated entities of expression that can seem a bit disjointed.

The two lengthy pieces ranging, from 24 to 30 minutes, are difficult to grasp and hold one’s attention. “One Sunday” is anchored by Parker’s bowed bass, with Aldcroft in a wildly free spontaneity that grasps little melodic substance. “Sweet Beverley” has a better sense bluesy jazz without being held to its rhythmic restraints, but on occasion you do hear an inherent swing element. The shorter pieces have Parker on the more blues centered trombonium with guitar rhythms tapped out on “Zum Schneider,” while his shakuhachi flute leads Aldcroft’s percussive plunking during “Warm’in On McKibben”. The music is staunchly original, perhaps to a fault. It is clearly Aldcroft’s vision and stance, unlike any other guitarist you’d care to name, especially compared with the Bailey’s, Mazzacane’s and Frith’s of the improvised world.

Patient listeners will be more humbly rewarded in listening to this pithy music, as opposed to those with shorter attention spans. Aldcroft in particular takes a warming period to fully appreciate, but his unique musicianship is there.