William Parker: At Somewhere There (2010)
He is a human mood ring.
This live recording, from July 2008 in Toronto, comprises one long (48 minute) bass solo and two shortish pieces for dousn'gouni and double flute.
The bassist keeps a busy schedule as part of numerous bands including those of Matthew Shipp, David S. Ware, Peter Brotzmann, Eri Yamamoto, and as a member of Other Dimensions In Music. As a leader he organizes his O'Neal's Porch Quartet, Raining On The Moon Sextet, Little Huey Creative Orchestra, and Curtis Mayfield Project.
As a solo performer he has released several recordings, including Testimony (Zero In, 1996) and Lifting The Sanctions (No More, 1997). Here he sticks with all bowed technique for his bass piece, "Cathedral Wisdom Light," casting wave upon wave of energy outward. His constant motion fills the audio spectrum, with the effect of inducing a dreamlike response. As with his previous solo sessions, artist Jeff Schlanger was in attendance painting a portrait which (a portion of) acts as the cover of the CD. His expression of the energy and color of Parker's performance is perhaps the best chronicle of the performance, besides this audio document.
The final short pieces, although brief, further describe this great musician's world. On "For Don Cherry," he plays a resonating African guitar while wordlessly vocalizing in accompaniment and switches to a double flute on "For Ella Parker." Both pieces are touching and beautiful.
Track Listing: Cathedral Wisdom Light; For Don Cherry; For Ella Parker.
Personnel: William Parker: acoustic bass, dousn'gouni, double flute.
Record Label: Barnyard Records
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde