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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. 

Featured releases

10 Albums – 91 total tracks – 594 minutes (10 hours) of all new music created expressly for this collection. That William Parker is a bassist, composer and bandleader of extraordinary spirit and imaginative drive is common knowledge among any with an interest in the progressive jazz scene of the past 25 years or more. What’s become increasingly apparent, though, is Parker’s stature as a visionary of sound and song – an artist of melody and poetry who works beyond category, to use the Ellingtonian phrase. The latest multi-disc boxed set from Centering Records/AUM Fidelity devoted to Parker’s expansive creativity underscores his virtually peerless achievement in recent years. Migration of Silence Into and Out of the Tone World (Volumes 1–10) is a 10-album collection of vocal and instrumental suites all recorded expressly for this set between late 2018 and early 2020, with women’s voices at its core. This is music as empathetic as it is intrepid, as philosophical as it is visceral, as resolutely modernist as it is attuned to tradition. Parker’s art not only draws from the deepest well of African-American culture; it breathes in inspiration from across the globe, with sounds drawn from Africa, Asia and Indonesia as well as Europe and the Americas; there is free improvisation and re-imagined sonic collage; there are album-length explorations of solo piano and solo voice, along with string ensembles and ancient wind instruments. There are dedications to jazz heroes, Native Americans and Mexican migrants, plus tributes to the great African-American culture of Harlem and the mix of passion and compassion Parker found in vintage Italian cinema. Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World conjures a vast world of music and feeling, and its creation is a feat that ranks with that of the most ambitious talents in any genre.  --- MUSICIANS William Parker: compositions, bass & addt’l instruments Featuring: an international, inter-generational array of singers & musicians, drawn from both long-standing colleagues and a new generation of devoted artists. --- Composed, Arranged & Produced by William Parker for Centering Records, © Centering Music (BMI) Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, NY : November 2018 – February 2020 [ except THE MAJESTY OF JAH - click on 'lyrics' above, and as noted in booklet ] All text written by William Parker (except as noted in booklet) Artwork throughout this work by Jo Wood-Brown Box Set Production & design by AUM Fidelity

William Parker – Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World – [Volumes 1–10]

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