William Parker (musician)
Photo by Frank Schindelbeck
January 10, 1952 |
New York City, New York, USA
|Origin||New York City|
|Occupations||Musician, composer, poet, festival organizer|
Parker was born Bronx, New York City. He was not formally trained as a classical player, though he did study with Jimmy Garrison, Richard Davis, and Wilbur Ware and learned the tradition. Parker is one of few jazz bassists who regularly plays arco. He also plays several other instruments from around the world, including the West African kora.
While Parker has been active since the early 1970s; he has had a higher public profile since the early 1990s. He is a prominent and influential musician in the New York City experimental jazz scene, and has regularly appeared at music festivals around the world, including the Guelph Jazz Festival, in southern Ontario.
Parker has recorded and performed with many musicians, including Lewis "Flip" Barnes, Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake, Frank Lowe, Daniel Carter, Federico Ughi, Bill Dixon, Charles Gayle, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, Billy Bang, Fred Anderson, Kidd Jordan, Rob Brown, Joe Morris, Rashied Ali, Paul Murphy, Sunny Murray, Perry Robinson, Barre Phillips, Henry Grimes, Peter Kowald, Spring Heel Jack, El-Producto, DJ Spooky, Susie Ibarra, Joel Futterman, Julia Kent, John Zorn, Mat Maneri, Nels Cline and Thollem McDonas.
The album Sound Unity by the William Parker Quartet was chosen as one of Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005. His August 2008 CD Double Sunrise over Neptune was listed as one of the top 10 2008 (through end of August) Jazz CD's at Amazon. Also released in 2008, Petit Oiseau was chosen as one of the best jazz disks of 2008 by The Wall Street Journal, the BBC's Radio Three, The Village Voice, and PopMatters.
In 2006, Parker was awarded the Resounding Vision Award from Nameless Sound. In March 2007, William Parker's book, who owns music?, was published by buddy's knife jazzedition in Cologne, Germany. who owns music? assembles his political thoughts, poems, and musicological essays. In June 2011, Parker's second book, Conversations, was published by Rogue Art.
As leader 
- Through Acceptance of the Mystery Peace (Eremite, 1979)
- In Order to Survive (Black Saint, 1993)
- Flowers Grow in My Room (Centering, 1995)
- Testimony (Zero In, 1995)
- Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy (Homestead, 1996)
- Sunrise in the Tone World (AUM Fidelity, 1997)
- Lifting the Sanctions (No More, 1997)
- Zen Mountains/Zen Streets: A Duet For Poet & Improvised Bass (Boxholder, 1998)
- Peach Orchard (AUM Fidelity, 1998)
- Posium Pendasem (FMP, 1999)
- O'Neal's Porch (AUM Fidelity, 2000)
- Mayor of Punkville (AUM Fidelity, 2000)
- Painter's Spring (Thirsty Ear, 2000)
- Song Cycle' (Boxholder, 2001)
- Piercing the Veil (AUM Fidelity, 2001)
- Bob's Pink Cadillac (Eremite, 2002)
- ... and William Danced (Ayler, 2002)
- Raining on the Moon (Thirsty Ear, 2002)
- Spontaneous (Splasc(H), 2003)
- Eloping with the Sun (Riti, 2003)
- Scrapbook (Thirsty Ear, 2003)
- Mass for the Healing of the World (Black Saint, 2004)
- Fractured Dimensions (Free, 2004)
- Luc's Lantern (Thirsty Ear, 2005)
- Sound Unity (AUM Fidelity, 2005)
- Long Hidden: The Olmec Series (AUM Fidelity, 2006)
- For Percy Heath (Victo, 2006)
- Alphaville Suite (RogueArt, 2007)
- The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield (Rai Trade, 2007)
- Volume 2: Summer Snow with Hamid Drake (AUM Fidelity, 2007)
- Corn Meal Dance (AUM Fidelity, 2007)
- Double Sunrise Over Neptune (Aum Fidelity/Arts for Art, 2007)
- Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity, 2008)
- Beyond Quantum with Anthony Braxton and Milford Graves (Tzadik, 2008)
- I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield (AUM Fidelity, 2010)
- Uncle Joe's Spirit House (Centering, 2010)
As sideman 
|This section requires expansion. (July 2011)|
- Harras (Avant, 1993)
With Billy Bang
With Charles Gayle
With Wayne Horvitz
- Some Order, Long Understood (Black Saint, 1982)
With Jimmy Lyons
- Wee Sneezawee (Black Saint, 1983)
With Roscoe Mitchell
- Nine to Get Ready (ECM, 1997)
With Cecil Taylor
- The Eighth (HatHut, 1986)
- Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants) (Soul Note, 1987)
- Olu Iwa (Soul Note, 1987)
- Live in Bologna (Leo, 1987)
- Live in Vienna (Leo, 1987)
- Tzotzil/Mummers/Tzotzil (Leo, 1988)
- Alms/Tiergarten (Spree) (FMP, 1988)
- In Florescence (A&M, 1989)
- Looking (Berlin Version) Corona (FMP, 1989)
- Looking (Berlin Version) The Feel Trio (FMP, 1989)
- Celebrated Blazons (FMP, 1990)
- 2001 - Inside Out in the Open (2001). Directed by Alan Roth. Asymmetric Pictures. Distributed by Third World Newsreel.
- Blumenfeld, Larry (2002-05-26). "Music; A Father to the Followers of Free Jazz". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-05. "Mr. Parker and his wife, the dancer Patricia Nicholson, began the [Vision Festival] seven years ago. Yet his influence runs much deeper than the recording studio or the bandstand. He is something of a father figure, dispensing life lessons as well as wisdom about musical technique."
- "Best Jazz of 2008". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Blumenfeld, Larry (2008-12-27). "The Best Musicians Span Continents, Generations, by Larry Blumenfeld". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- "Jazz on 3, Best Albums of the Year". Bbc.co.uk. 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Francis Davis (2008-12-31). "2008 ''Voice'' Jazz Poll Winners". Villagevoice.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Layman, Will. "The Best Jazz of 2008, by Will Layman". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- "William Parker Conversations". Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- A Sessionography
- FMP releases
- William Parker's book "who owns music?" at www.buddysknife.de
- 38 minute mp3 interview
- Official Website
- Review of "Double Sunrise Over Neptune" (2008)