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A 2009 concert at The Rubin Museum Of Art, New York, on the 8th May, 2009 from the duo of double bassist William Parker, also performing on shakuhashi, dousn gouni; and the late violinist Billy Bang, also performing on thumb piano; organic and deeply felt dialog.

Bang, Billy / William Parker
Medicine Buddha

Bang, Billy / William Parker: Medicine Buddha (NoBusiness)

Label: NoBusiness    
Released in: Lithuania    

Reflections on Billy Bang by William Parker:

"Billy Bang was a brilliant human being, always much more than himself, especially when he surrendered to his true calling-that of musician, one who transforms music into magic, dancing instead of walking, jumping instead standing still. Billy Bang was an American original, an original musician, an organic person who had tapped into the river of sound and was riding on a boat drenched in blues-soul-funk and space.

Billy is gone and unfortunately for the world there will never ever be another person like him. His life was not filled with joy, but he brought joy to life. Everyone who heard him play his violin throughout the world was moved and uplifted. When Billy played, he gave his all every time, always taking the music to the next dimension where beauty and truth and peace reside.

Billy was like a little big brother who was brave when he needed to be brave, bold and daring when he needed to be. Billy was a great basketball player; he had moves on the basketball court way before Magic Johnson. He also was very scholarly and meticulous about anything he approached in life, vulnerably open and honest.

I remember in the early '70s I was living in the Claremont housing projects in the Bronx. Billy would come by and we would play and rehearse while my mother fixed dinner. We would eat and continue until late in the night, trying to figure out what music was. I felt proud walking though Claremont with a kindred spirit named Billy Bang.

When his son Ghazal was born I went to the hospital to visit the newborn baby and both father and son had halos around their heads; it was amazing. Later when Ghazal was a small boy, he threw some of his toys out the window of the projects on Avenue D where Billy was living at the time. Billy responded by writing a play with music based off of the event for Ghazel's preschool class, composing some music and writing a script about the event. It was called "Popcorn's Adventure." So we went into his daycare classroom and performed this play and played the music. The skit had the kids laughing so hard their stomachs began to hurt. The humor and love that Billy Bang showed that day was tremendous. The teacher gave us juice and crackers and life was perfect.

Even though as was I was born and raised in the Bronx, I was a very serious and stiff guy. I needed some one to bring out my sense of humor. That person was Billy Bang. Billy showed me how to laugh and through that laughter to see life as the most serious thing there could be.

When the music came around it grabbed him and he was majestic, gentle, lyrical, and there was this eternal groove that never stopped. Even the most abstract sound he made was draped in the blues, pathos, and uplift. Billy Bang was filled with a fire, healing us as he healed himself. He played some music and lived to the fullest and fought to stay alive with undaunted optimism.

I am just happy I met and got to know him and play with him. I thank God for giving him to us for how ever long. He changed my life.

This duet concert we did at the Rubin was one of the last concerts we played together. I think it was a beautiful experience for all. - William Parker

"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."

-William Parker Website (

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Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Parker, William
Duo Recordings
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Product Information:

UPC: 4779022078934

Label: NoBusiness
Catalog ID: NBCD 71
Squidco Product Code: 19995

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Lithuania
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded live at The Rubin Museum Of Art, New York, on May 8th, 2009.


Billy Bang-violin, thumb piano

William Parker-bass, shakuhashi, dousn gouni

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Track Listing:

1. Medicine Buddha 22:34

2. Sky Song 6:19

3. Bronx Aborigines 3:46

4. Eternal Planet (Dedicated To Leroy Jenkins) 14:25

5. Buddha's Joy 5:44

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