John Dikeman / Hamid Drake / William Parker – Cleaning The Mirror

This trio came about when the DOEK festival in Amsterdam invited the American saxophonist (and Dutch resident) to form a new group for the festival. Dikeman went straight for one of the greatest rhythm sections of the last 30 years - asking William Parker and Hamid Drake to join him in a trio.

This recording includes both of the sets they performed at Cafe OTO on 7 May 2014 to a sold out house.

William Parker and Hamid Drake first came together as part of Peter Brötzmann’s legendary Die Like A Dog Quartet with trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. They’ve gone on to form a sympatico partnership, working as a duo (see Piercing the Veil on AUM Fidelity) and together on many of William Parker’s larger group projects.

From rural Wyoming to Amsterdam via Egypt, Dikeman’s playing runs the gamut of improvised music with an open attitude to collaboration that tears down any notion of genre. His own groups include the no-wave noise jazz of Cactus Truck, and Universal Indians - a tightly wound trio (with Jon Rune Strom on bass and Tollef Ostvang on drums) seen regularly with special guest Joe McPhee.

Recorded by James Dunn at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 7 May 2014. Mixed by Rupert Clervaux at Grays Inn Road, London. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Photograph by Dawid Laskowski.

Digital Download - 320k MP3 / 24bit FLAC


1.  Invocation (52:15)
2.  Longing Of The Heart (19:59)
3.  Museum Of Ideas (25:27)

John Dikeman / tenor and alto saxophones
William Parker / double bass
Hamid Drake / drums, percussion, voice

Hamid Drake

Hamid Drake is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends a great deal of time touring worldwide. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and avant improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free-jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 70s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso’s Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career. 

Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker (in a large number of lineups).

"[Drake's] mastery of pulse drumming, textural sculpting, hand drum techniques, reggae, funk and garage punk makes him one of the most articulate and linguistically advanced musicians on the circuit… Cecil Taylor once claimed that each man is his own academy. If that's the case, Drake is surely one of the mystery schools." - David Keenan, The WIRE

William Parker

William Parker is an improviser, and composer. He plays the bass, shakuhachi, double reeds, tuba, donson ngoni and gembri. He entered the music scene in 1971, and quickly became a sought after bass player in the New York music scene. He has played with many musicians from the avant-garde such as, Bill Dixon, Sunny Murray, Charles Tyler, Alan Silva, Frank Wright, Rashid Ali, Donald Ayler, Sonny Simmons, Jeanne Lee, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons, Milford Graves and with traditionalists like Walter Bishop, Sr. and Maxine Sullivan. 

"William Parker, the former Cecil Taylor sideman, exhibits a fearlessness, double-bass virtuosity and tough lyricism that perhaps makes him the closest bassist/composer equivalent to the late Charles Mingus." John Fordham, The Guardian

William’s early collaborations with the dancer and choreographer Patricia Nicholson created a large repertoire of composed music for ensembles ranging from solo works to big band projects. Parker played in the Cecil Taylor Unit from 1980 through 1991. He has also performed with musicians from the AACM such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Ernest Dawkins, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago. 

In addition to his work with artists in the United Stated, William Parker has developed a strong relationship with musicians in the European Improvised Music scene such as Peter Kowald, Peter Brotzmann, Han Bennink, Tony Oxley, Derek Bailey, John Tchicai and Louis Moholo. 

John Dikeman

John Dikeman is an American saxophonist currently residing in Amsterdam. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources, John's playing runs the gamut of improvised music and technique, ranging from reductionist extended technique based improvisation to full throttle free jazz. The underlying characteristic of his music is an unnerving commitment, a total abandonment to sound.