WILLIAM PARKER

Avant-Garde Jazz / Progressive Big Band / Vocal Jazz / Jazz Related Improv/Composition / Third Stream / Soul Jazz • United States
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William Parker is a master musician, improviser, and composer. He plays the bass, shakuhachi, double reeds, tuba, donso ngoni and gembri. He was born in 1952 in the Bronx, New York. He studied bass with Richard Davis, Art Davis, Milt Hinton, Wilber Ware, and Jimmy Garrison. He entered the music scene in 1971 playing at Studio We, Studio Rivbea, Hilly’s on The Bowery and The Baby Grand, playing with many musicians on the avant-garde school Bill Dixon, Sunny Murray, Charles Tyler, Billy Higgins, Charles Brackeem, Alan Silva, Frank Wright, Frank Lowe, Rashid Ali, Donald Ayler, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons, Milford Graves and with traditionalists like Walter Bishop, Sr. and Maxine Sullivan. Early projects with dancer and choreographer Patricia Nicholson created a huge repertoire of composed music for multiple ensembles ranging from solo works to big band projects. Parker played in the Cecil Taylor unit from 1980 through 1991. read more...
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WILLIAM PARKER Discography

WILLIAM PARKER albums / top albums

WILLIAM PARKER Through Acceptance of the Mystery Peace album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Through Acceptance of the Mystery Peace
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker / In Order To Survive ‎: Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker / In Order To Survive ‎: Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
WILLIAM PARKER Lifting the Sanctions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lifting the Sanctions
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Trio ‎: Painter's Spring album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
William Parker Trio ‎: Painter's Spring
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
WILLIAM PARKER Song Cycle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Song Cycle
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Quartet - O'Neals Porch album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
William Parker Quartet - O'Neals Porch
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker & Hamid Drake ‎: Piercing The Veil album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker & Hamid Drake ‎: Piercing The Veil
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Clarinet Trio ‎: Bob's Pink Cadillac album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker Clarinet Trio ‎: Bob's Pink Cadillac
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Quartet Featuring Leena Conquest ‎: Raining On The Moon album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
William Parker Quartet Featuring Leena Conquest ‎: Raining On The Moon
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Trio ‎: ... And William Danced album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker Trio ‎: ... And William Danced
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
WILLIAM PARKER Eloping With The Sun (with Joe Morris, Hamid Drake) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eloping With The Sun (with Joe Morris, Hamid Drake)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
WILLIAM PARKER Scrapbook album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Scrapbook
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
WILLIAM PARKER P & P (William Parker, Ad Peijnenburg) : Brooklyn Calling album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
P & P (William Parker, Ad Peijnenburg) : Brooklyn Calling
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
WILLIAM PARKER Luc's Lantern album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Luc's Lantern
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
WILLIAM PARKER Long Hidden: The Olmec Series album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Long Hidden: The Olmec Series
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
WILLIAM PARKER For Percy Heath album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
For Percy Heath
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Double Quartet ‎: Alphaville Suite, Music Inspired By The Jean Luc Godard Film album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker Double Quartet ‎: Alphaville Suite, Music Inspired By The Jean Luc Godard Film
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker / Raining On The Moon : Corn Meal Dance album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker / Raining On The Moon : Corn Meal Dance
Vocal Jazz 2007
WILLIAM PARKER Summer Snow : Volume 2 (with Hamid Drake) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Summer Snow : Volume 2 (with Hamid Drake)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Quartet - Petit Oiseau album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
William Parker Quartet - Petit Oiseau
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker, Giorgio Dini ‎: Temporary album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker, Giorgio Dini ‎: Temporary
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Organ Quartet ‎: Uncle Joe's Spirit House album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker Organ Quartet ‎: Uncle Joe's Spirit House
Soul Jazz 2010
WILLIAM PARKER Solo Bass: Crumbling In The Shadows Is Fraulein Miller's Stale Cake album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo Bass: Crumbling In The Shadows Is Fraulein Miller's Stale Cake
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
WILLIAM PARKER Conversations album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Conversations
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
WILLIAM PARKER Centering. Unreleased Early Recordings 1976-1987 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Centering. Unreleased Early Recordings 1976-1987
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
WILLIAM PARKER Conversations II Dialogues & Monologues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Conversations II Dialogues & Monologues
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker / Raining On The Moon : Great Spirit album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
William Parker / Raining On The Moon : Great Spirit
Vocal Jazz 2015
WILLIAM PARKER Stan's Hat Flapping In The Wind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stan's Hat Flapping In The Wind
Vocal Jazz 2016
WILLIAM PARKER Counteract This Turmoil Like Trees And Birds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Counteract This Turmoil Like Trees And Birds
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Quartets : Meditation / Resurrection album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
William Parker Quartets : Meditation / Resurrection
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker & David Budbill ‎: What I Saw This Morning album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker & David Budbill ‎: What I Saw This Morning
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2017
WILLIAM PARKER Voices Fall From The Sky album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Voices Fall From The Sky
Vocal Jazz 2018
WILLIAM PARKER Lake Of Light : Compositions For AquaSonics album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lake Of Light : Compositions For AquaSonics
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2018
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker: Flower In a Stained​-​Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker: Flower In a Stained​-​Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear
Avant-Garde Jazz 2018

WILLIAM PARKER EPs & splits

WILLIAM PARKER live albums

WILLIAM PARKER Flowers Grow in My Room album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Flowers Grow in My Room
Progressive Big Band 1994
WILLIAM PARKER In Order To Survive album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
In Order To Survive
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
WILLIAM PARKER Testimony album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Testimony
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
WILLIAM PARKER Sunrise in the Tone World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sunrise in the Tone World
Progressive Big Band 1997
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker / In Order To Survive : The Peach Orchard album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
William Parker / In Order To Survive : The Peach Orchard
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker / In Order To Survive ‎: Posium Pendasem album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker / In Order To Survive ‎: Posium Pendasem
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
WILLIAM PARKER Mayor of Punkville album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Mayor of Punkville
Progressive Big Band 2000
WILLIAM PARKER Raincoat In The River Vol.1 / ICA Concert album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Raincoat In The River Vol.1 / ICA Concert
Progressive Big Band 2001
WILLIAM PARKER Fractured Dimensions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fractured Dimensions
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker & The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra : Spontaneous album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker & The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra : Spontaneous
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
WILLIAM PARKER Mass for the Healing of the World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mass for the Healing of the World
Progressive Big Band 2003
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Quartet - Sound Unity album cover 4.09 | 3 ratings
William Parker Quartet - Sound Unity
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Bass Quartet Featuring Charles Gayle ‎: Requiem album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker Bass Quartet Featuring Charles Gayle ‎: Requiem
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
WILLIAM PARKER The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield: Live in Rome album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield: Live in Rome
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
WILLIAM PARKER Double Sunrise Over Neptune album cover 4.02 | 4 ratings
Double Sunrise Over Neptune
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
WILLIAM PARKER I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield
Vocal Jazz 2010
WILLIAM PARKER At Somewhere There album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At Somewhere There
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
WILLIAM PARKER Parker, Lenoci, Curci, Magliocchi : Serving An Evolving Humanity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Parker, Lenoci, Curci, Magliocchi : Serving An Evolving Humanity
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
WILLIAM PARKER Winter Sun Crying album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Winter Sun Crying
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Orchestra W/Special Guest Kidd Jordan ‎: Essence Of Ellington album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker Orchestra W/Special Guest Kidd Jordan ‎: Essence Of Ellington
Progressive Big Band 2012
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker / Conny Bauer / Hamid Drake ‎: Tender Exploration album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker / Conny Bauer / Hamid Drake ‎: Tender Exploration
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
WILLIAM PARKER Live In Wrotslove album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Wrotslove
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
WILLIAM PARKER Anthology/Live 2006-2012 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology/Live 2006-2012
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
WILLIAM PARKER For Those Who Are, Still album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
For Those Who Are, Still
Third Stream 2015
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Quartet ‎: Ao Vivo Jazz Na Fábrica album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker Quartet ‎: Ao Vivo Jazz Na Fábrica
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker & Stefano Scodanibbio : Bass Duo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker & Stefano Scodanibbio : Bass Duo
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017
WILLIAM PARKER William Parker & In Order To Survive : Live/Shapeshifter album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
William Parker & In Order To Survive : Live/Shapeshifter
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019

WILLIAM PARKER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

WILLIAM PARKER re-issues & compilations

WILLIAM PARKER First Communion + Piercing The Veil : Volume 1 Complete album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
First Communion + Piercing The Veil : Volume 1 Complete
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007

WILLIAM PARKER singles (0)

WILLIAM PARKER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
CHILE NEW YORK AfghanIRAQ
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013

WILLIAM PARKER Reviews

WILLIAM PARKER Voices Fall From The Sky

Album · 2018 · Vocal Jazz
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snobb
"Voices Fall From The Sky" is an unusual album even for bassist and composer William Parker who's music is always way unpredictable. And not because it is a massive three-CD set - Parker often uses similar format for his releases in new millennium. Simply, it is a vocal album. Parker often uses vocalists for some his projects, but songs with vocal usually take smaller part of the album, if at all. And here we have three-CD set exclusively dedicated to vocalists!

Not all music here is jazz and far not all material is new as well. First disc in a set, titled same as whole release - "Voices Fall From The Sky" - is a new recording with only a short opener coming from Parker's 2006 album "Long Hidden: The Olmec Series". It contains predominantly duos or small combos playing avant-garde ballads (jazz and non-jazz) sung by ten different female and male singers, one or two per piece). It works quite well and recalls Ran Blake recordings with Jeannie Lee."We Often Danced" with Fay Victor is a peak. On this part, Parker himself plays on five songs only (all but one - bass, and ngoni on "Airlift").

Disc 2 titled simply "Songs" contains lot of previously released material. Only four songs have been previously unreleased and are material from the vault (recorded in 1991 and 1993). All them are minimalist duets of William Parker on bass or Japanese pianist Yuko Fujiyama with singers Lisa Sokolov or Ellen Christi. All but one rest songs on this CD are duets as well, piano or bass plus singer, all comes from already released albums. Parker is an only bassist, but we can hear two more pianist - another Japanese Eri Yamamoto and Parker's regular collaborator Cooper-Moore changing each other. Well known from other Parker projects singer Leena Conquest is added on the vocalists list (beside of lesser known Senegalese Mola Sylla). Predominantly dark bare-naked minimalist ballads continue the spirit and atmosphere of the first set's CD. Part are jazzy, others - more camber/non-jazz avant-garde.

CD 3 opens with live big-band version of "The Essence Of Ellington" with Ernie Odoom on vocals, recorded live in Italy in 2012 and already released on Parker's "Essence Of Ellington" same year. It continues with "Lights Of Lake George" sung by Indian classical vocalist Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and supported by same Parker's Orchestra (already released in 2008 on "Double Sunrise Over Neptune"). Deep sultry Leena Conquest voice is easy recognizable on perfect but already heard "For Fannie Lou Hamer"(from "For Those Who Are, Still",2015). "Deep Flower" is groovy composition with recitative vocals coming from obscure "Wood Flute Songs. Anthology / Live 2006-2012"(2013).

What comes after is probably a biggest surprise of whole release. Parker's composed four-part avant-garde jazz suite of sort, performed by trio of already mentioned above Japanese pianist Eri Yamamoto,Estonian drummer Leonid Galaganov and Afro-American mezzo-soprano AnnMarie Sandy combines avant-garde minimalist piano-drums duo with operatic vocals. It is a new material, released for the first time here, it not always works but at the same time it is the music which attracts the attention for sure.

Whole set closes with beautiful "Natasha's Theme" from "Alphaville Suite, Music Inspired By The Jean Luc Godard Film", a Parker's album released in 2007 on French Rogueart Jazz label.

A mixed bag, this album contains a lot of great music and some interesting music, but cleaned from reissues and edited till more listenable size of single CD, it could be an another Parker's strong release. Still worth listening for sure, at least for recordings one can't find on any other Parker's album.

WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Quartets : Meditation / Resurrection

Album · 2017 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
There are quite a few avant-garde jazz veterans still creative and active around, but surprisingly enough some of them experience a true renaissance for last decade or more. Henry Threadgill or Wadada Leo Smith are great examples. Bassist William Parker, who played still with Cecil Taylor, is another one on the list. What is even more surprising, all three artists mentioned above during last years somehow switched towards more monumental forms of music releasing large scale recordings, from extended suites to double and triple disc sets one after another.

Parker's "Meditation/Resurrection" is another example of such release. Double-CD set contains twelve compositions recorded with two different bands, each on separate disc. The music presented is characteristic for Parker melodic groovy avant-garde jazz rooted in trad jazz and blues with African rhythmic elements and European composition influences.

Both parts sound not all that much different what is understandable - both are recorded by same William Parker core trio consisting of himself on acoustic bass,alto saxophonist Rob Brown and drummer Hamid Drake, just rounded out till quartet with two different musicians.

On a first CD it is a kalimba and trumpet player Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson. With Hamid Drake switching on gong and Parker himself playing tarota (a Catalan double-reed instrument) in moments, "Meditation" is quite a true title for this part. Partially relaxed, freer and esoteric, this music combines Eastern gathering with early jazz and blues marching playfulness.

On a second CD,"Resurrection", core Parker's trio contains their usual fourth member - pianist Cooper-Moore (all quartet is known under the name "In Order To Survive"). Here pianist is a significant player pushing the band towards more structured compositions with brilliant Rob Brown alto and Parker bass soloing above often bluesy in deep but complex and knotty piano-drums rhythmic flow.

Equally strong release among some more released by Parker during last years, not too massive but (as even more in case with his so beloved triple sets) would be more useful released as two separate albums. OK, his label probably has a different opinion here.

WILLIAM PARKER For Those Who Are, Still

Live album · 2015 · Third Stream
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Bassist William Parker is a living legend who started his musical career in early 70s playing with Don Cherry and Cecil Taylor among many others. During last five years he released series of collection of previously unissued recordings, coming from different time periods, but "For Those Who Are ,Still" is most probably most unusual of them all. In fact this 3CD-set contains most unorthodox music recorded by Parker in new Millennium and it doesn't look all that strange none of it has been released before.

Opener "For Fannie Lou Hamer" is 28-minutes long composition,recorded live in 2000 (all other albums music has been recorded between 2011 and 2013). Ten-piece combo with strings plays chamber composition with Leena Conquest soprano vocals and some recitatives,which represents William Parker as composer (he doesn't play here at all). Rest of the CD 1 contains studio recordings of same vocalist but in support of Parker-led acoustic drumless trio (and recorded eleven years later). It still sound a bit chamber, but much freer and minimalist comparing with earlier orchestrated version.Leena's vocals recalls Swiss vocalist Irene Aebi singing,known from some Steve Lacy albums.

Second set's CD "Red Giraffe With Dreadlocks" is world music ecstatic mix containing two traditional Indian singers singing against avant-garde jazz sextet,playing drones and ritual chants seriously reworked in modern creative jazz manner. Even with such heavyweights as pianist Cooper-Moore and percussionist Hamid Drake (besides of Parker on bass)second CD often sounds more as contemporary experiments with Indian traditional music than as jazz.

Third and last CD contains "Ceremonies For Those Who Are Still" - ten-piece suite recorded live in Poland by Parker-led trio (with sax player Charles Gayle and drummer Mike Reed)with local symphonic orchestra and choir. This part sounds quite a lot as chamber music spiced by jazz trio's inserts here and there. As set's opener,all other compositions till this place are all Parkers's originals.

Set closes with 25-minutes long free jazz trio's improvisation (actually recorded by above mentioned Parker-Gayle-Reed trio right before above suite during same concert in Poland). In fact,"Escapade For Sonny"(set's closer title)is the only true jazz song on all release, and it sounds great but too predictable comparing with all what sounded right before.

"For Those Who Are, Still" is a long album, and music presented here is very different and as rule quite unorthodox even for William Parker fans. Still for those interested in modern searches rooted in advanced jazz and all open ears listeners this is a perfect release, one of the best among jazz and jazz related music albums,released this year.

WILLIAM PARKER William Parker Trio ‎: Painter's Spring

Album · 2000 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
New York acoustic bassist William Parker started his musical career in jazz as far back as the early 70s, collaborating with Don Cherry and, more notably, Cecil Taylor. Still, it was already the 90s when he became one of the main figures in the down town avant-garde jazz scene, experiencing hard times once again - this time being deeply in the shade of fashionable-again mainstream jazz.

A prolific leader and collaborator, he became a real star (and probably the leading acoustic bassist on the avant-garde jazz scene) only in the first decade of the new century. Being very physical and muscular, his bass usually sounds tuneful and even lyrical, which is what often makes his music attractive for a wide audience.

With busy drummer Hamid Drake, William Parker played together in one of the most successful Peter Brotzmann projects from the 90s, Die Like a Dog (initially born as an Albert Ayler tribute project). Now, as a trio with the lesser known reedist Daniel Carter, they have recorded a collection of muscular but tuneful, almost catchy compositions, "Painter's Spring", quite straight (by William's standards). All but two of the songs are William's originals, and they all generally sound like a mosaic of paintings (it's a rare case where the album's title means a lot). There is no obvious leader and the music is a product of equal collaboration between all three musicians.

With all of its accessibility and beauty, this album is probably the best entrance to the usually more complex and quirky, but always colorful world of Parker's music.

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