Farmers By Nature : Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn: Out of This World's Distortions
""Pianist Craig Taborn, bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver are masters of rhythmic intrigue, of those subtle gradations of pulse and time out of which the best music is hewn. FBN’s chemistry is evident from the first notes of the peaceful and wistful “For Fred Anderson”. As wonderful and haunting as that spacious tribute is, it’s only a prelude for the disc’s epic, “Tait’s Traced Traits”. It would be folly to attempt a description of how this 18-minute study in controlled freedom flows so organically from first to last. The title rolls off the tongue with the alliterative beauty of the track’s recurrent synchronicities.
Then there are the melodies! They twist, turn, turn back again, writhe and shift places in glorious counterpoint. If it isn’t Parker and Taborn creating these inter-weavings, Cleaver’s well-tuned percussion is providing the melody. Listen to his malletted ostinato opening on the final track “Mud, Mapped”; check out the luminous rolled chords Taborn interjects, Parker’s razor-sharp arco swells adding light to the darker textures..." –Marc Medwin, The New York City Jazz Record
“..whenever they put their collective skills together to spontaneously create music, it’s not labor, it’s a conversation at an otherworldly level.” –Something Else!
“FBN is a band that takes seriously its mission to communicate to listeners, even though there is not a compromise in sight. The group move as one." –PopMatters
“Creating a developmental arc in a song that is more about understated, incremental movements rather than outright ‘chapter headings’ has been practiced by many in jazz over the years, but it is done with consummate authority here. The result is a deeply wistful, bracing musical adventure.” –Jazzwise
Superbly attuned listeners and masterful players of their respective instruments, Farmers By Nature are without question one of the finest improvising units / musical groups in the world today.
This album was recorded almost exactly 2 years to the date of the highly acclaimed debut from which they take their group name. The pieces proceed & flow exactly as they were performed in the studio that day, opening with an exquisite elegy to the great saxophonist & wonderful human being, Fred Anderson (who passed away the preceding night), and closing with an impeccably mesmerizing cosmic pulse piece. The entirety of the album taken in and received as a whole arc is, simply put, stunning.
Out of This World's Distortions manifests in sound some of the winsome beauty & powerful, uncorrupted, graceful elegance that arises still, through the horrors that are perpetrated every day by humans against the Earth and one another. FBN create a sonic ecosystem that reflects this magnificence: sowing seeds of sound and bringing them to blossom.
Gerald Cleaver writes in the liner notes:
"Craig, William and I are always seeking a connection to that which is and always has been. It's about being party to an actualization of sorts: bearing witness to certain very specific, essential truths that can be spoken of in an infinite number of ways, and sounded in an amazingly singular way. The music is a telling and a prescription for us and for others."