Peace: desired by all but somehow unattainable without struggle. As a former Vietnam veteran, free jazz violinist Billy Bang knows a thing or two about struggle. And when you lay claim to studying under Leroy Jenkins as well as lending a hand to acts such as Material, Decoding Society and Sun Ra, there are few musical boundaries left for you to test. Perhaps that’s why Bang’s latest album Prayer for Peace treads so lightly compared to the fiery, confrontational music of his past.
Billy Bang’s latest quartet is an able ensemble in the face of stylistic diversity. The album’s two covers “Only Time Will Tell” and “Chan Chan” are pretty distant, geographically speaking. As for originals, “Dance of the Manakin” is an impressively interwoven arrangement of piano, violin, and trumpet while the title track plunges headlong into the meditative. A subtle yet worthy addition to his career.
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