On the heels of two very intriguing CDs (Painter's Spring and Mayor of Punkville), luminary bassist William Parker let loose another for 2000 on his own Centering Music label. O'Neal's Porch, a tribute of sorts to Parker's late uncle, features a quartet with Rob Brown on alto sax, Lewis Barnes blowing trumpet, and Hamid Drake, Parker's compatriot since 1998, banging drums. While Brown and Barnes are familiar playing with the bassist (both have performed in his large ensembles), Parker and Drake comprise the best rhythm section in jazz; together, they should go down in the history books as one of the most fruitful and interesting musical relationships this side of Ellington and Strayhorn, Diz and Bird, and Miles and Trane.
Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy Award–winning jazz saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, invented the musical style called bop or bebop. Charlie Parker was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas. From 1935 to 1939, he played the Missouri nightclub scene with local jazz and blues bands. In 1945 he led his own group while performing with Dizzy Gillespie on the side. Together they invented bebop. In 1949, Parker made his European debut, giving his last performance several years later. He died a week later on March 12, 1955, in New York City.