July 19, 2024

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CD review: William Parker – Flower In a Stained-Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear 2018: Video

This special edition release is comprised of two newly recorded full-length albums from bassist and composer William Parker, distinct in personnel and approach, yet complementary in ethos. Packaged in a limited edition deluxe 8-panel digipak, with liner notes by William Parker.

‘Flower in a Stained-Glass Window’ fully features vocalist Leena Conquest, a tremendous interpreter of Parker’s work in song. This is her first work together with Parker since 2012, and it is a most potent return to this creative orbit. She sings and speaks atop of and within a fresh ensemble featuring Parker’s bass together with long-time compatriots trombonist Steve Swell and saxophonist Dave Sewelson, South African drummer Kesivan Naidoo (in his first work with Parker), Parker’s son Isaiah on piano, as well as younger saxophonic talents Abraham Mennen and Nick Lyons.

This work is dedicated to the inspiration of Martin Luther King, and the lyrical content pulls no punches delivering the truth as Parker sees it. The message is: social and political justice and equality for all human beings.

‘Flower…’ was slated for release on its own, and then William Parker had a summer residency at The Stone / New School in New York, in which ‘The Blinking of The Ear’ was presented in wholly extended form by an ensemble featuring Daniel Carter, Steve Swell, Eri Yamamoto on piano, William Parker and young Leonid Galaganov on drums, with mezzo soprano AnnMarie Sandy. After hearing the recording, it was forthwith decided to include this and make it a true double-album event!

“To place William Parker squarely in the box labelled “composer” or “improviser” is to deny the fertility of the ground he has spent the past 45 years preparing. More and more, the projects he is helming inhabit a diverse world where sound and form work in symbiosis, blurring the boundaries of categorization in the process.”]

CD1

  1. Fallen Flower
  2. Gone (feat. Leena Conquest)
  3. Emmett Till (feat. Leena Conquest)
  4. Broken Earth (feat. Leena Conquest)
  5. I Had a Dream Last Night (feat. Leena Conquest)
  6. Flag (feat. Leena Conquest)
  7. Give Me Back My Drum
  8. Living Hope
  9. Children
  10. What Is That About?
  11. Music Song
  12. Samba (feat. Leena Conquest)

CD2

  1. Meditation on Freedom (feat. AnnMarie Sandy, Daniel Carter, Steve Swell, Eri Yamamoto & Leonid Galaganov)
  2. Without Love Everything Will Fail
  3. Dark Remembrance (feat. AnnMarie Sandy, Daniel Carter, Steve Swell, Eri Yamamoto & Leonid Galaganov)
  4. Heavenly Home Meditation on Peace (Part One) (feat. AnnMarie Sandy, Daniel Carter, Steve Swell, Eri Yamamoto & Leonid Galaganov)
  5. Heavenly Home Meditation on Peace (Part Two)

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