WILLIAM PARKER ..For Those Who Are, Still ..AAUM092/93/94
> Box Set – Limited Edition of 1500 <
3CD Box Set - $25
AUM Direct Combo Special
Produced by William Parker and Steven Joerg
All compositions (music & lyrics) by William Parker,
CD1 - For Fannie Lou Hamer + Vermeer
CD2 - Red Giraffe With Dreadlocks
CD3 - Ceremonies For Those Who Are Still
For Those Who Are, Still is a magnificent 3CD box set of new and previously unissued music from world-renowned composer-bassist William Parker. This set is comprised of four distinctly compelling long-form works – Parker’s first composition written for symphony orchestra performance; a commissioned piece for a standing new music ensemble; a “chamber-jazz” song series for voice / soprano sax / piano / bass; a composition created specifically for a particularly diverse Parker assemblage in Universal Tonality mode. The four works are linked by a focus on and greater adherence to William Parker’s written compositions; the depth and breadth of the resultant performances is astonishing. As ever in his four+ decades of profound output, improvisation of a very high order is a natural part and parcel of these multifarious expositions.
The elementally unifying thread of this whole set is life and death itself, with the exhortation to take example from those who have lived life with full and un-ending compassion for other human beings; appreciating that we all live and die together and the best path forward is through peace, with kindness and respect mutually allocated from all, to all. Inherent in the title, this is music for living: For Those Who Are, Still.
The set begins on CD1 begins with a work of great synesthetic capacity. For Fannie Lou Hamer is a stunning homage to this indefatigable American civil rights leader. This piece was commissioned by The Kitchen, NYC, for performance by their 10-piece house band in the Kitchen House Blend series. William wrote words to accompany his music, and included singer Leena Conquest to the assembly. As is amply demonstrated here, and in her work with Parker’s Raining On The Moon & Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield projects, Conquest is a particularly gifted and tuned-in performer of his lyrics. Her enunciation and soulful contralto does justice to his unsparing and luminous poetry. Leena is also featured here on Vermeer, a studio session dedicated to poetic song-form, with Darryl Foster (soprano & tenor sax), Eri Yamamoto (piano) and Parker (bass & hocchiku).
Red Giraffe With Dreadlocks is a long-form work written specifically for the particular group of talents who performed it; its staging made possible by the central location of Paris, France. Joining Parker (bass) and his long-time compatriots Cooper-Moore (piano), Hamid Drake (drums), Rob Brown (alto sax) are Senegalese griot Mola Sylla, classically-trained Indian singer Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, Dutch bass saxophonist Klaas Hekman, and double-reed master Bill Cole. Red Giraffe.. is yet another beautiful manifestation of a concept to which Parker has often returned. Universal tonality, as he wrote in the sleeve notes accompanying the album, Double Sunrise Over Neptune, “is based off of the idea that all sounds like human beings come from the same place. All sound has a heartbeat and breathes the same as each human being. Some sounds are born in Africa; others are born in Asia, Europe, Australia or America. These sounds pass through certain human beings. We don’t invent sounds, we are allowed to encounter them; we don’t own them, they existed before we were born and will be here after we are gone.”
Ceremonies For Those Who Are Still marks the momentous occasion of William Parker’s first work composed for symphony orchestra. It was commissioned by Poland’s National Forum of Music for premiere performance at the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, and is performed by the NFM Symphony Orchestra (conductor, Jan Jakub Bokun) together with the eight principals of NFM Choir. Charles Gayle (tenor & soprano saxophones, piano), William Parker (bass, doson ngoni, bamboo flutes), and Mike Reed (drums) improvise both within the composition itself, and as a trio on Escapade For Sonny, a trio improvisation which preceded the premiere of Ceremonies..
For Those Who Are, Still contains 3.5 hours of beautiful and potent music; each of the "mini-LP" style CD sleeves (and the box cover) feature commissioned paintings by gifted young artist Douglas Arnold. The accompanying 24pg. booklet contains extensive notes by Philip Clark (The Wire, et al.), William Parker’s lyrics, and further key visual artwork. The deluxe box will be published in a limited first edition of 1500 copies. The box is hand-crafted by the same folks who manufactured the Wood Flute Songs Box. The total music and artwork will also be available digitally for download.