William Parker's own thread

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I haven't seen anyone on ILM mention this Mass for the Healing of the World yet. Anybody here heard this?

Abdel Clave (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 23 November 2004 14:49 (fourteen years ago) link

See my blog nearer to Xmas time...it figures very highly in my end-of-year top 50.

Marcello Carlin, Tuesday, 23 November 2004 15:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Thanks, I will look for that.

Abdel Clave (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 23 November 2004 16:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Intriguing--what's the URL of yr blog?

don, Wednesday, 24 November 2004 02:06 (fourteen years ago) link

AC=Rockist Scientist?

This looks like a great disc. I can't believe I hadn't even heard of it. Maybe 3 discs with Susie Ibarra on them will make my top 10 this year.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 02:41 (fourteen years ago) link

saw him in portland sometime ago. great quartet w/ hamid drake on drums and steve swell on trombone and a saxophonist i cant remember the name of. called 'fire into music'. walked a nice line b/t post-modal grooves and colemanish harmolodicism; had seen mccoy tyner earlier w/ charnette moffet, an incredible bassist, but parker took a solo that certainly rivalled charnette's, who was more virtuosic but less creative than parker

jake b. (cerybut), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 02:49 (fourteen years ago) link

don, I think his blog is here, unless he has another one I don't know about.

Yes, sundar, I'm trying to change my name again. Anyway, I am abandoning "Rockist Scientist," one way or another.

Abdel Clave (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 03:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Thanks AC! Looks like that one is ending though (maybe another brick or 2 in the wall though?) So far I prefer Guillermo Brown to Hamid. GB has that Tony Williams thing of "soloing" but actually providing prefect accompaniment (not that I've heard a huge amount of his work, but if he can do that at *all*--!)

don, Wednesday, 24 November 2004 05:02 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah hamid was more into creating a polyrhthmic pulse that definitely GROOVED at points, far from tony's complete abstraction of the beat ... but still awesome.

jake b. (cerybut), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 06:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah he's good too, I'm just hung-up on the Tony de/reconstrction of the beat lately. Another one new to me is Robert Perkins, drummer with the Benny Lackner trio in New York. He's kinda Tony, DeJohnette, Stewart Copeland?! They understand rock tunes as well as jazz, never get confused (they're spoiling the Bad Plus for me)

don, Wednesday, 24 November 2004 06:27 (fourteen years ago) link

FYI: my current blog is located here. You may also find this blog of archival interest.

Marcello Carlin, Wednesday, 24 November 2004 09:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Parker is really fascinating to me because he's completely limited as a bassist, only does about five things, but somehow fills all five of them with soul and fire and can still make your jaw drop by switching from thing two to thing three at an unexpected moment.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 12:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Marcello, I don't know what I was thinking when I linked to a blog whose last entry was from September of last year. I will blame it on being tired.

I'm interested in what people are saying about Parker's limitations. I haven't seen this many people comment on that before. I don't hear that (but I'm not a musician and don't have any knowledge of music theory--plus I don't listen to that much jazz), but I do find his playing really inventive and sometimes funny.

(Yes, another name change, but I think this one should be relatively permanent since it doesn't carry lots of baggage. A name remotely part of my ancestry, distant relations we never heard from--with money.)

LaRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 12:55 (fourteen years ago) link

It is true that a lot of folks talk about William Parker as if he had somehow reinvented the bass or plays in a wider variety of styles and techniques than anybody else; they're wrong, though, and mistake his great big amazing ears and heart for superchops.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 14:41 (fourteen years ago) link

three months pass...
William Parker has something new coming out: Luc's Lantern (among other Thirsty Ear releases).

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 02:21 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, from this sometimes interesting, sometimes embarrassing, interview with him on AAJ:

Future Plans

“For Thirsty Ear there is one project in the can. Matthew Shipp and I did a record with John Medeski on organ and Nasheet Waits on Drums. I am also doing a project with Beans from the Anti-Pop Consortium and Hamid Drake. We will record in June and it's coming out this year.

“The Quartet is going to release Sound Unity on Aum Fidelity in April or early May. It was recorded live in Canada.All new material. With Raining on the Moon (the Quartet featuring vocalist Leena Conquest) we got now enough material for two CD's, so I hope that it will also come out some time in the future.

“We did a recording of Inside the Song of Curtis Mayfield project two or three years ago in America. Small chorus, Leena Conquest and Amiri Baraka, Guillermo E. Brown on drums. It's in a process of being released, maybe in early 2006.

“I'm working on putting out a Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra box-set in 2006. I'm trying to find out funding to put that out. And I hope to record another Clarinet Trio record, this time using Alvin Fielder who replaces Perry Robinson. There might be a release of In Order To Survive last concert and it might be on Boxholder.

“On May 6 I'm doing the second Songs cycle, this time with Leena Conquest and Eri Yamamoto. In this tour there is a bass quartet with Henry Grimes, Sirone and Alan Silva and Charles Gayle plays the alto saxophone. We will try to get that released at some point.”

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 02:24 (fourteen years ago) link

Parker is really fascinating to me because he's completely limited as a bassist, only does about five things, but somehow fills all five of them with soul and fire and can still make your jaw drop by switching from thing two to thing three at an unexpected moment.

Is he a limited bassist, or does he intentionally limit his palette? I remember hearing a story about the Velvet Underground when they were recording the first record. Apparently they had a jar, and if anything did anything remotely "bluesy", they had to put money in the jar. I don't know if this is true, but it speaks to the many ways that something that sounds limited can be limited by intention.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 02:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Kudos for those who eschew the blues.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 02:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Feh to that.

That quartet with Nasheet and John Medeski could be great though!

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 04:54 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Feh to that.

Fih to that.

Luc's Lantern is really disappointing amd boring (unless you like jazz that sounds like jazz). Maybe a couple tracks I like, but I'm not into it at all, the boring thrashing around drumming.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 20 April 2005 17:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Haha, and who could possibly like jazz that sounds like jazz?

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 20 April 2005 17:34 (fourteen years ago) link

People who like jazz, I guess. I was thinking: what would I say if someone wrote this about a genre I especially like, and I decided I would just laugh at it, which doesn't reflect well on my comment. I'm not giving up on William Parker though.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 20 April 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link

The quartet disc mentioned above, Sound Unity, is excellent. Hard-bop heads with long free-blowing stretches and of course that thundering Parker/Drake groove throughout.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Wednesday, 20 April 2005 18:27 (fourteen years ago) link

six years pass...

what's yer favourte parker record and why?

Crackle Box, Friday, 9 September 2011 11:39 (eight years ago) link

the right answer is summer snow w/hamid drake. various exotic instruments. you can def wear ur spiritual jazz hat to this one. parker and drake went in2 space together, understood it all, came back and had a jam. this is it. this music makes me feel small and insignificant. i love it.

Crackle Box, Friday, 9 September 2011 11:52 (eight years ago) link

Lately I'm a big fan of his most straight-ahead group, the William Parker Quartet. Supercharged hard bop that heads into trance-groove territory a lot. I even like the albums they've made with vocalist Leena Conquest, and I usually hate vocals in jazz.

that's not funny. (unperson), Friday, 9 September 2011 14:27 (eight years ago) link

two years pass...

Big spat between Parker and jazz critic Howard Mandel. Mandel wrote this piece which seems pretty innocuous stuff for the most part but Parker evidently took exception to the final paragraph:


and wrote this open letter in reply:


There's also a long argument on Mandel's Facebook page.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Monday, 28 April 2014 13:10 (five years ago) link

I've been following this mostly via Matt Shipp's fb page. Mandel seems...confused, to say the least:

Both fest and series are platforms for the once revolutionary but now questionably progressive practice of letting preconceptions go, trusting instinct above traditional forms and standards.

Where is it stated that "traditional forms and standards" are not welcome at the Vision Festival or Evolving Music? ffs, Parker recently did an Ellington tribute.

The notion that spontaneity itself guarantees transcendence or evolutionary change ought to be examined. To the talents Evolving Music convenes, complex structures and old school virtuosity should not be limits or threats – they might lend bright ideas supportive strengths.

This is some serious strawman bullshit. No one is claiming that "spontaneity itself guarantees transcendence." Mandel is, to be charitable, projecting here.

And Parker is OTMFM with the book was horrendous and uninformed unless it was supposed to be a form of science fiction comedic writing.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 28 April 2014 21:30 (five years ago) link

"Traditional forms and standards" is an idiotic phrase anyway. Jazz musicians originally played standards because they were te popular songs of the day, not because they represent some Rosetta Stone of jazz. They were crowd pleasers. And yes they also did a lot to inform the harmonic and melodic vocabulary of jazz but jfc can't we get past that? Jazz has been stretching beyond standards for like 60 years now.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 29 April 2014 01:27 (five years ago) link

What a reactionary tool

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 29 April 2014 01:27 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

Man, his body of work is just so vast and he's constantly doing new and interesting stuff. I'm just discovering this "William Parker Organ Quartet" record from 2010, and it's great. It's with Darryl Foster, Cooper-Moore and Gerald Cleaver.

Hier Komme Die Warum Jetzt (Hurting 2), Thursday, 19 June 2014 14:29 (five years ago) link

seven months pass...

Does anyone own the Sessionography book? I think I want it but I would like to know if it's more trainspotter-y, John Fahey Handbook style, or if there's much in the way of illustrations and artwork and such.

Jimmywine Dyspeptic, Thursday, 22 January 2015 02:45 (four years ago) link

Just saw him playing with Hamid Drake + Peter Brotzmann, best jazz thing I've saw in yonks, not a bad rhythm section Peter had there!

A trumpet growing in a garden (Tom D.), Friday, 30 January 2015 17:51 (four years ago) link

Parker/Drake with pretty much anyone (or as a duo) is a must-see imo.

walid foster dulles (man alive), Friday, 30 January 2015 17:59 (four years ago) link

He also whipped out a shehnai (or something like that) and gave that a fair old blast.

A trumpet growing in a garden (Tom D.), Friday, 30 January 2015 18:01 (four years ago) link

Brötzmann/Parker/Drake are a fantastic combo—saw them together years ago at Tonic with Roy Campbell on trumpet. They've done a number of records together; one of my favorites is the 2CD Never Too Late But Always Too Early.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 30 January 2015 18:52 (four years ago) link

I bought the book by the way. It hasn't arrived yet but I'll check back in when it does.

By the way, Crackle Box 100% otm upthread about Summer Snow, which I bought on his recommendation. Got very "lost" in this album night before last, if you catch my drift. One of those incredibly affirming, "oh yeah, I do still love music" listens.

Jimmywine Dyspeptic, Saturday, 31 January 2015 01:20 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

his latest In Order To Survive live album Shapeshifter is good stuff. It's near enough the same band from The Peach Orchard (with Hamid Drake replacing Ibarra) and is just as good imo.

calzino, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 10:06 (four months ago) link

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