Monday, August 15, 2011

William Parker - Solo Bass/Crumbling In the Shadows Is Fraulein Miller's Stale Cake (Centering/AUM Fidelity, 2011)

William Parker is one of the premier bassists of modern jazz, and this special boxed set features him in a lengthy series of unaccompanied improvisations. Upright, acoustic bass must be one of the most difficult instruments to play solo, demanding a level of physicality and dexterity to keep the music moving forward. Parker demonstrates total command of the instrument both plucked and bowed, creating buzzing and undulating soundscapes that are hypnotic in their improvisational acuity. There are two CDs of newly recorded compositions and improvisations and the musical portion of the collection is rounded out by a remastered version of Parker’s 1995 solo LP Testimony, which was recorded live at the Knitting Factory. As impressive as the music is, the booklet accompanying the discs is absolutely fascinating. Parker is a longtime writer and poet, and the 48 page booklet of his recent poems and stories is just wonderful. Parker dedicates himself to peace and understanding among all people through music and words, and the poems and short story excerpts here evoke the horror of slavery and warfare and the possibility of peace and reconciliation among all people. It’s a wonderful and thoughtful addition to this unique collection. Solo Bass/Crumbling in the Shadows -

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