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A 3 CD box set of new and previously unissued long-form works from world-renowned composer-bassist William Parker, 10 compositions with musicians including Hamid Drake, Cooper-Moore, Charles Gayle, Rob Brown, Mike Reed, Klaas Hekman, NFM Symphony Orchestra + Choir, &c.

Parker, William
For Those Who Are, Still [3 CD BOX]

Parker, William: For Those Who Are, Still [3 CD BOX] (Aum Fidelity)

Label: Aum Fidelity    
Released in: USA    

"For Those Who Are, Still is a magnificent 3CD box set of new and previously unissued music from world-renowned composer-bassist William Parker. This set is comprised of four distinctly compelling long-form works - Parker's first composition written for symphony orchestra performance; a commissioned piece for a standing new music ensemble; a "chamber-jazz" song series for voice / soprano sax / piano / bass; a composition created specifically for a particularly diverse Parker assemblage in Universal Tonality mode. The four works are linked by a focus on and greater adherence to William Parker's written compositions; the depth and breadth of the resultant performances is astonishing. As ever in his four+ decades of profound output, improvisation of a very high order is a natural part and parcel of these multifarious expositions.

The elementally unifying thread of this whole set is life and death itself, with the exhortation to take example from those who have lived life with full and un-ending compassion for other human beings; appreciating that we all live and die together and the best path forward is through peace, with kindness and respect mutually allocated from all, to all. Inherent in the title, this is music for living: For Those Who Are, Still.

The set begins on CD1 begins with a work of great synesthetic capacity. "For Fannie Lou Hamer" is a stunning homage to this indefatigable American civil rights leader. This piece was commissioned by The Kitchen, NYC, for performance by their 10-piece house band in the Kitchen House Blend series. William wrote words to accompany his music, and included singer Leena Conquest to the assembly. As is amply demonstrated here, and in her work with Parker's Raining On The Moon & Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield projects, Conquest is a particularly gifted and tuned-in performer of his lyrics. Her enunciation and soulful contralto does justice to his unsparing and luminous poetry. Leena is also featured here on Vermeer, a studio session dedicated to poetic song-form, with Darryl Foster (soprano & tenor sax), Eri Yamamoto (piano) and Parker (bass & hocchiku).

"Red Giraffe With Dreadlocks" is a long-form work written specifically for the particular group of talents who performed it; its staging made possible by the central location of Paris, France. Joining Parker (bass) and his long-time compatriots Cooper-Moore (piano), Hamid Drake (drums), Rob Brown (alto sax) are Senegalese griot Mola Sylla, classically-trained Indian singer Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, Dutch bass saxophonist Klaas Hekman, and double-reed master Bill Cole. "Red Giraffe.." is yet another beautiful manifestation of a concept to which Parker has often returned. Universal tonality, as he wrote in the sleeve notes accompanying the album, Double Sunrise Over Neptune, "is based off of the idea that all sounds like human beings come from the same place. All sound has a heartbeat and breathes the same as each human being. Some sounds are born in Africa; others are born in Asia, Europe, Australia or America. These sounds pass through certain human beings. We don't invent sounds, we are allowed to encounter them; we don't own them, they existed before we were born and will be here after we are gone."

"Ceremonies For Those Who Are Still" marks the momentous occasion of William Parker's first work composed for symphony orchestra. It was commissioned by Poland's National Forum of Music for premiere performance at the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, and is performed by the NFM Symphony Orchestra (conductor, Jan Jakub Bokun) together with the eight principals of NFM Choir. Charles Gayle (tenor & soprano saxophones, piano), William Parker (bass, doson ngoni, bamboo flutes), and Mike Reed (drums) improvise both within the composition itself, and as a trio on Escapade For Sonny, a trio improvisation which preceded the premiere of Ceremonies.."-AUM Fidelity

"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 (

"Hamid Drake (born August 3, 1955) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends a great deal of time touring worldwide. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and avant improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free-jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 70s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso's Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career.

Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker (in a large number of lineups)

He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks; using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake's questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae."

-Wikipedia (

Deluxe box set is published in a limited first edition of 1500 copies. Each of the CD sleeves (and the box cover) feature commissioned paintings by gifted young artist Douglas Arnold. The accompanying 24pg. booklet contains extensive notes by Philip Clark (The Wire, et al.), William Parker's lyrics, and further key visual artwork.

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Price: $27.16
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Product Information:

Deluxe box set is published in a limited first edition of 1500 copies. Each of the CD sleeves (and the box cover) feature commissioned paintings by gifted young artist Douglas Arnold. The accompanying 24pg. booklet contains extensive notes by Philip Clark (The Wire, et al.), William Parker's lyrics, and further key visual artwork.

UPC: 642623309223

Label: Aum Fidelity
Catalog ID: AUM 092-94CD
Squidco Product Code: 21028

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: 3 CD Box Set
Track 1-1: Recorded live at The Kitchen, NYC on October 28, 2000.

Tracks 1-2 to 1-10: Recorded at The Gallery Recording Studio, Brooklyn on March 6, 2011.

Tracks 2-1 to 2-6: Recorded January 2012 in Paris, France.

Tracks 3-1 to 3-10: Recorded in premiere performance at the Jazztopad Festival, Wroclow, Poland on November 15, 2013.

Track 3-11: This trio improvisation preceded the premiere of Ceremonies..see tracks 3-1 to 3-10.


William Parker-bass, composer, lyrics, strings

Rob Brown-alto saxophone

Nicki Parrot-bass

Klaas Hekman-bass saxophone, flute

Shiau-Shu Yu-cello

Soloists Of NFM Choir-choir

Jan Jakub Bokun-conductor

Hamid Drake-drums

JT Lewis-drums

Mike Reed-mike reed

NFM Symphony Orchestra-orchestra

Jim Pugliese-percussion

Charles Gayle-piano, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone


Eri Yamamoto-piano

Kathleen Supove-piano

Bill Cole-reeds

JD Parran-reeds

Sam Furnace-reeds

Darryl Foster-sopranio saxophone, tenor saxophone

Masahiko Kono-trombone

Ravi Best-trumpet

Todd Reynolds-violin

Leena Conquest-voice

Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay-voice, electronics

Mola Sylla-voice, strings, Mbira

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Track Listing:

CD 1

1. For Fannie Lou Hamer 28:00

2. Vermeer 7:09

3. Awash In the Midst of an Angel's Tears 4:19

4. Essence 2:47

5. Flower Song (Take 2) 6:48

6. Just Feel 0:57

7. Feet As Roses 3:36

8. Gongs For Deaf Dreams 3:19

9. Sweet Breeze 4:56

10. Flower Song (Take 1) 6:59

CD 2

1. Villages, Greetings And Prayer 15:36

2. Souls Have Fallen Like Rain 14:37

3. The Giraffe Dances 19:46

4. Tour Of The Flying Poem 5:53

5. Children Drawing Water From The Well 6:15

6. Where Do You Send The Poem 12:00

CD 3

1. A Magical FigureDances Barefoot In The Mud 4:51

2. Light Shimmering Across A Field Of Ice 2:28

3. Trees With Wings 5:10

4. Rise Up In Sound 7:57

5. Humble Serious 7:02

6. Tea Leaves Of Triple Sadness 4:48

7. Ritual 3:52

8. Winter 5:49

9. My Cup 3:42

10. Encore 4:16

11. Escapade For Sonny 25:25