10 March 2007

william parker 'testimony' 1995 (solo bass)

hi all heres,william parkers now long gone 'testimony'

a solo double bass record to rival peter kowald,and barre phillips magnificent efforts.

heres a bagatellen review.

Pressed on the tiny and now extinct Zero In imprint out of Austin, TX (an apartment address on the tray card is always a telltale sign of shoe-string finances), Parker’s second solo recording represents the good, the bad and the ugly of his monologue style on bull fiddle. I first caught him in person in just such a setting, summer of 97’ while doing an internship at Smithsonian/Folkways. His was the second concert presented by the then fledgling Transparent Productions -- a cadre of volunteer "promoters" who would go on to curate over a hundred performances under the aegis of awarding players one hundred percent of each event’s proceeds. Against the odds, they’re still going strong. The recital took place at Kaffa House, a tiny corner pub (much like the Knit where Testimony was taped) and WP pulled out all the stops, at one point cantilevering a separate bow against each of his four strings to create a floating grid of tentacled harmonics. Similar tactics deploy on disc. The five tracks represent full two sets, tugging at the maximum capacity of the medium. Parker punishes and massages his bass in equal measure, falling prey to his tendency to cleave and burrow away mercilessly at his strings to the point of near tedium. The fidelity, rendered by a single stage side engineer, is coarse-grained and muddy. These are the major minuses, but the music still ends up transcending them. Parker’s massive technique, his canny ability to coax, in his own parlance, tonal rainbows is frequently in full, sweeping effect. Streaks and splatters lift from his fingerboard like arcs of paint flung from an action painter’s brush. There’s so much incandescent and percussive bowing, that a place of prominence for his mighty pizzicato capabilities is hardly missed. Parker has recorded at least one more solo album since this one, ‘97’s Lifting the Sanctions, but my preference goes to its predecessor as the more engrossing and electrifying excursion. Today marks his fifty-third birthday; hopefully his celebrated fecundity will continue for many years to come.
~ Derek Taylor

unfortunately william parkers website seems to be either experiencing major difficulties or be defunct all together a pity as it contains his massive discog.

parker is by now one of the most influential,free jazz musicians in as braxton might say this present time continuum.

hes played with many people including to my knowledge- cecil taylor,roscoe mitchell,joe morris

butch morris,roy campbell, charles gayle, ivo perelman -the list goes on and on

this is quite a tough listen ,lots of wild arco,comparable perhaps in its gritty abstraction with his duet with joe morris on the no more records lable.

im planning more uploads of zero in albums since unfortunately they no longer exist,

this is truly greatand intense improv at its best. do yourself a favour and grab it.


i will post a link to wp's website when its back on track.

heres a link to AUM ,a great freejazz lable where you can buy lots of w.parkers discs




David said...

Thanks for this.

I have heaps of William Parker (IMHO the most significant bass player since Mingus), but some of his stuff is just impossible to get.

Any more would be welcome ;-)

dipmong said...

if you have any rarities or live concerts ,youd like to post let me know at

David said...

Alas, no rarities or concerts.

Just CDs I've bought.

I'll keep you posted if I do come up with anything ;-)

Anonymous said...

Young Man seeking support to record with William Parker

onxidlib said...

Testimony is available again!

See > http://www.aumfidelity.com/home.htm

Click on the cover of "William Parker/Solo Bass".

brian said...

maybe repost!?

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

Still available > http://www.aumfidelity.com/cent1005.html (seems only one is left...)