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Paula Shocron / William Parker / Pablo Diaz - El Templo CD

Paula Shocron / William Parker / Pablo Diaz - El Templo CD

Astral Spirits

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CD. The document you hold in your hands is a very special and beautiful document and for many reasons. There is a balance, an equilibrium to this trio that comes from an honesty of intent and from all 3 members being truly in the moment. This is something that can not be faked or if there is a small bit of excess it would show. But here all 3 members of the trio have an intrinsic sense of trio as a whole and that allows them to find their own space —keep true to their own space but allow the trio as an organism to unfold in natural counterpoint in a well paced-relaxed way which elevates the vast tonal elements of all the instruments to contribute to a sound garden that is clear and inviting. There is zero pretense in this music —all 3 members operate on a level of musical honesty that is really refreshing— no one is trying to prove anything and there is zero academic calculation here —just a reverence for the act of music making.

Paula has a firm and beautiful touch —she creates a really profound-strong but gorgeous wall of sound in the base register— but she always keeps some line going through it, almost like she has some background in romantic piano; she can shake the time-space continuum in a profound way with the sheets of sound in the bass register in a poetic way. She can also get a real patchwork of motifs going and moving many directions when she gathers steam in the middle register. She also has a phenomenal ability to play jazz based harmonies spaced out in a free jazz context and her voicings imply a really strong melody line though there is not a written melody line to begin with. To do this in a convincing way is a very very rare talent. She has it.

Pablo’s sensitivity is on an extremely high level. He seems to always make the right choices. I do not hear any of the “drummers ego” in him. He thinks in terms of tone and sound and always creates an inviting cushion. Balance —weight and pace seem second nature to him in this context. He intuitively knows how to tonally fit in to the vibration of the ensemble —he really has a fresh touch— never overwhelms the sound but drives it forward when needed; a truly beautiful musician. He has a wide palette but always has control of the flow of possibilities/probabilities.

What else can be said about William. He is one of the greatest bassists in jazz history. William sounds to me here to be completely relaxed and enjoying himself. I asked him what he gets out of playing with Paula and Pablo. He more or less said that their vibe is right. Sometimes it really is that simple.

There is some pure —beautiful and honest music making here. Relax into it and let it take you somewhere.

- Matthew Shipp