Visitation Of Spirits

Featuring: William Parker

Musicians on the recording

Roy Campbell - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Flute
William Parker - Bass
Zen Matsuura - Drums

Recording track list


1. Charmaine      18:30
2. Imhotep   16:14 
3. Vigilance   15:41
4. Brother Yusef    13:21 
5. Untitled   9:23


NoBusiness Records NBCD 162
Release year - 2023

Credits and release info

  • Recorded 21 February 1985 at The Joint, Usdan Student Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
  • Original recording produced by Mark Leibowitz
  • Re-mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudio
  • Cover and Booklet Design: Jeff DiPerna
  • Liner Notes: William Parker
  • Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Ed Hazell
  • Special thanks to Roy’s sister Valerie Morris, who told us, “Roy spoke to me in a dream years ago and said, “It's all about the music.”

Reviews and articles


Stuart Broomer - New York City Jazz Record

Bassist William Parker and the late trumpeter roy Campbell (who died ten years ago this month) enjoyed a long and close musical partnership. They played together in the collective quartet Other Dimensions in Music with Daniel Carter and rashid Bakr for over 30 years, and Campbell was a constant presence in Parker’s large ensembles. The Pyramid Trio, however, presents the essence of their partnership.

The group, under Campbell’s leadership, released three albums during its history, with Parker a constant presence: Communion, from 1994, with reggie nicholson on drums; Ancestral Homeland, from 1998, with Zen Matsuura; the last, Ethnic Stew and Brew, in 2000, with Hamid Drake. Visitation of Spirits, recorded in 1985 (with Matsuura) presses the group history almost a decade closer to its beginnings in 1981. The band’s identity is already fully formed, and some Campbell compositions heard on later recordings are already in the book, including “Vigilance” (later heard on Communion); “Brother yusef” (Ancestral Homeland) and “Imhotep” (Ethnic Stew and Brew).

The dedicatees of Campbell’s compositions from the trio’s other albums are keys to the music’s character: Don Cherry, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, alan Shorter, yusef Lateef and albert and Don ayler. Campbell is a passionate, melodic player, equally committed to expression and clarity with a complementary interest in world music (mostly african and Middle Eastern). The music is emotionally direct, essentially rhythmic and almost minimalist, as true to Parker’s mission as Campbell’s; it tends to focus on rhythm and voice, with Matsuura an additional strong presence.

From the opening bars of “Charmaine”, the music is intense and sustained; three of the five tracks run over fifteen minutes. Parker’s bass lines define the music’s architecture, and there are strong connections to blues and to early jazz. Campbell’s splintering, emotive lines can suggest Cherry or alan Shorter, but there’s also the spirit of early jazz trumpeters, a declarative, brassy emphasis on fundamentals suggesting pioneering voices. “Imhotep” is particularly subtle, with an expansive—even noble—calm, while “Vigilance” is the most powerful statement: it’s forceful and determined, featuring Campbell and Matsuura’s most dramatic performances.

Visitation Of Spirits -

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