The follow-up to 2002's self-titled Thirsty Ear debut of William Parker's Raining on the Moon combo finds the extraordinary composer/bassist reuniting with his rhythm twin, Hamid Drake, alto saxophonist Rob Brown, trumpeter Lewis Barnes and singer Leena Conquest and expanding the group concept by wisely adding rising New York pianist Eri Yamamoto to the mix.
This time out, Conquest assumes a greater role in setting the tone and shape of the pieces -- which is fine. She's got a commanding delivery and a beautifully earthy timbre that recalls a younger Abbey Lincoln. And Parker is a gifted poet whose creative constructs have the same powerful rhythmic acuity of his funky bass runs. They were meant to work together. And with Yamamoto's slightly off-kilter attack, he's found the perfect counterbalance for Conquest's flights of fancy. Of course, none of this would work nearly as well if they weren't all such good listeners.