+ Hamid Drake, Dave Burrell, Lewis Barnes u.a.
I Plan To Stay A Believer is the definitive document of William Parker's The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield project, comprised of exuberant concert recordings spanning the past decade (2001-2008). The project features interpolations of the mighty songbook of soul music legend Curtis Mayfield by an equally mighty 8-piece band, occasionally accompanied by highly inspired choirs.
Bassist / composer William Parker is among the most active and highly regarded musicians performing today. This is the first project in his 35-year career devoted to the music of another composer. Curtis Mayfield was a prophet, a preacher, a revolutionary, a humanist, and a griot. Words that all apply to William Parker himself. Included here are two pieces from the group's very first 2001 performance in Paris with a chorus of 90 children, and another pair from New York in 2008 which feature a full gospel choir.
As Parker writes in the liner notes, "Every song written or improvised has an inside song which lives in the shadows, in-between the sounds and silences and behind the words, pulsating, waiting to be reborn as a new song." I Plan To Stay A Believer brings Curtis Mayfield's positive messages of hope and fortitude in the face of potentially overwhelming odds back into the present moment where these energies remain in great need.
The group features all long-standing compatriots of Parker's: the peerless rhythm section of Parker and drummer Hamid Drake, along with elder masters Dave Burrell on piano and poet / activist Amiri Baraka. The horn section features saxophonists Sabir Mateen & Darryl Foster and trumpeter Lewis Barnes. Deeply soulful singer Leena Conquest is also featured in Parker's Raining on the Moon group / Corn Meal Dance album. -SJ (aumfidelity. com)