|This second volume of duets and solos follow the well received, live recording of Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble in Greenfield, Massachusetts, November 20, 1999. With the exception of a dedication piece to Bill Cole's wife, Sarah Sully, and a duet with bassist William Parker, this recording of meditations on Yoruba proverbs is imbued with the austerity of a moral philosophy lesson.
Bill Cole performs on an assortment of exotic instruments including Ghaniian flute, Chinese sona, East Indian nagaswarm and Korean hojok; although these instruments have a folk tradition in their respective cultures, Cole brings the jazz out. The opening track and "Dear Sarah Sully" feature Cole's flute playing and capture winding melodic lines as well as a lovely duet with Sam Furnace on metal flute.
The plaintive, reedy whine of all but the flute challenge the listener to listen closely as though there is a moral warning that is about to be revealed. Sam Furnace's alto sax provides wet relief to the dry tone of Bill's snaking figures on "A Man Sees a Snake, A Woman Kills It, No Matter So Long as It is Dead." Joseph Daly's tuba and baritone horn likewise compliment the dry intensity and strolling curlicues of Cole's nagaswarm and sona. "A Man of Outstanding Quality is Preeminent Among his Comrades" is a processional salute to Fela. The sona bursts then winds with baritone horn to weave a fibrous mat of sound on "It Is Not Other People's Good…"
The duet with Parker again is another sinewy affair that, although buoyed by Parker's bass, still sears like a hot sun. In the final solo piece, "A Tormentor Makes His Victims Hardy," Cole releases some of the harshest wavering cries that reinforce the test at hand.