In Jane Kirkpatrick's novel, "A Clearing in the Wild," (Trade Paperback, $13.99),…
These men know how to make not just good music but exemplary music in trio form.
The leader is pianist Larry Willis, someone I've come to know as a man of great spirit, faith, sensitive nature and abundant talent. Veteran bassist Buster Williams and drummer Al Foster are familiar names because of their stellar work through several decades. Some say Foster is the most recorded drummer of all time.
Although the players are well known, the material herein is not recognizable with the exception of the first track, "The Surrey With the Fringe On Top." The prettiest is Willis' composition, "The Day You Said Goodbye," a very slow ballad with Foster on brushes and Williams' bass soloing with deep resonance. Willis unhurriedly constructs a lovely memorial to something or someone he cared very much about.
The fatherless Black family is a problem that grows to bigger proportions every year as generations of Black children grow up without an adult male in their homes. Even the minority of Black men who do live with their children often struggle with the role.