Pianist/composer Eri Yamamoto’s Duologue (AUM048) and the William Parker Quartet’s Petit Oiseau (AUM050) are numbers three and five respectively on PopMatters.com’s Best Jazz of 2008 list, published today.
In his blurb about Duologue, Ms. Yamamoto’s collection of duets with saxophonist Daniel Carter, percussionist Hamid Drake, bassist William Parker and drummer Federico Ughi, jazz critic Will Layman writes, “The pianist came to jazz from classical training and then a fascination with Tommy Flanagan, but today she plays ‘free’ or ‘out’, liberated from conventional tonality. But her ‘out’ playing is persistently sunny and beautiful. These duets glow.”
“Like most of the music on this list,” wrote Layman of Petit Oiseau, “Parker’s quartet plays music that has made a lie of the contrast between ‘avant-garde jazz’ and the jazz tradition. The jazz tradition, represented so well here, is just about the freedom to sing as you choose.”
In it he writes, “As ‘pretty’ as her playing often is, it is cloaked in the impulse of the moment. Whatever she has gleaned from Shipp and Workman, Bley and Parker—but also Monk and Powell and Tommy Flanagan—makes her playing suspenseful and just slightly dangerous. In my heart, it scores high. What a pianist: a little dangerous and a whole lot lovely.”