Tuesday, June 19, 2018

William Parker - Voices Fall From The Sky (AUM Fidelity 2018)

[CENTERING 1015/1016/1017] 

A treasure box abounding with gems, Voices Fall From The Sky is an expansive 3 Album / 3CD Box Set comprising three distinct and complementary albums whose focus is on the voice: ~the singers~ & the songs, all composed (music & lyrics) by William Parker. 17 singular & potent voices are featured herein; accompaniment ranges throughout, from duo to large ensemble. 

tracks 1–11 = Voices Fall From The Sky (Album/CD 1) 
tracks 12–25 = Songs (Album/CD 2) 
tracks 26–34 = Essence (Album/CD 3) 

First release for each of the albums are within this compendium. 
Over half of this work are brand new recordings made during December 2017–January 2018; the balance is drawn from various sources, some long (20 years!) unavailable and others presented in new form; all personally selected & sequenced by William Parker, and released on his own Centering Records imprint (dist. by AUM Fidelity).

A multitude of approaches are in evidence: art song to operatic, pop to gospel, ballads to dance numbers, silence to exuberance. The lyrical content expresses love of nature and its vital importance to a whole life, compassion, anti-oppression, anti-violence of any kind, praise of the creative spirit, and, Love. These themes are foundational in all of Parker’s work; the forefront spotlight through a multitude of expressive voices here makes them that much more salient. 

Parker has been working with singers since first embarking on his distinguished path in the early 1970s. His creations featuring voice & song which have found greatest renown to date have been with the groups/projects, Raining On The Moon [ “In suggesting an alternate past, where Nina Simone jammed with John Coltrane, Parker finds another future.” –The Sunday Times } and The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield [ “A superb example of how a pop songbook can be transformed .. a fierce and awesome display of musical prowess .. among the broadest, deepest and richest listens of this year (or any).” –JazzTimes ] And, from a full-page featured review in The Wire of Parker’s most recent release in this form, Stan’s Hat Flapping in the Wind: “Through these songs, love rains down.” 

Here Now, June 2018 >>> 

Album 1, also entitled Voices Fall From The Sky, features all-new work (except the opening invocation) recorded & mixed during Winter 2017/2018. It features the widest range of voices & accompaniment. [Singers]: Timna Comedi • Morley Shanti Kamen • Amirtha Kidambi • Kyoko Kitamura • Bernardo Palombo • Omar Payano • Jean Carla Rodea • Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez • Fay Victor • Andrea Wolper [With Accompanists]: Karen Borca • Angelo Branford • Rob Brown • Gerald Cleaver • Jean Cook • Jason Kao Hwang • Masahiko Kono • William Parker • Dave Sewelson • Heru Shabaka-Ra • Steve Swell • Dario Acosta Teich • Eri Yamamoto 

Album 2 – Songs, is wholly comprised of duets (except the first track ;-), and focuses on three singers with whom Parker has had decades-long creative relationships with. Vintage recordings with Ellen Christi and Lisa Sokolov from the early 1990s :: which have been unavailable for almost 20 years :: are here re-contextualized with more recent work featuring Leena Conquest (and one each feat. Ernie Odoom & Mola Sylla) [Accompanists]: Yuko Fujiyama • Cooper-Moore • William Parker • Eri Yamamoto 

Album 3 – Essence, presents voices within large ensemble & features new iterations of previously released work together with a brand new suite / recording entitled The Blinking of the Ear, performed by mezzo-soprano opera singer AnnMarie Sandy. The previously released work features the singers Ernie Odoom, Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and Leena Conquest, with accompaniment by four very different versions of the William Parker Orchestra, and his Double Quartet. The new suite features Eri Yamamoto: piano and Leonid Galaganov: drums, although how they and AnnMarie Sandy fill the silence is practically orchestral. 

3CD Box Set is in a strictly limited Edition of 1000 – a truly gorgeous item with heft to match the musical content. 

Full art & liner notes / song annotation / lyrics are included as a PDF with Digital Album purchase.

1. Espirito (feat. Omar Payano) 01:14
2. Airlift (feat. Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez) 02:05
3. Bouquet for Borah (feat. Andrea Wolper) 12:26
4. City of Flowers (feat. Andrea Wolper) 06:02
5. Despues de la Guerra (feat. Bernardo Palombo & Jean Carla Rodea) 06:14
6. Small Lobby (feat. Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez) 03:26
7. So, Important (feat. Kyoko Kitamura) 06:20
8. We Often Danced (feat. Fay Victor) 14:28
9. Voices Fall from the Sky (feat. Amirtha Kidambi) 06:43
10. Revolution (feat. Timna Comedi) 05:39
11. A Tree Called Poem (feat. Morley Shanti Kamen) 08:27
12. All I Want (feat. Ernie Odoom) 02:18
13. Baldwin's Interlude (feat. Ellen Christi) 02:51
14. For Julius Eastman (feat. Lisa Sokolov) 03:05
15. Aborigine Song (feat. Lisa Sokolov) 02:05
16. Life Song (feat. Ellen Christi) 04:16
17. Band in the Sky (feat. Lisa Sokolov) 06:03
18. Sweet Breeze (feat. Leena Conquest) 05:06
19. Morning Moon (feat. Lisa Sokolov) 06:08
20. A Thought for Silence (feat. Ellen Christi) 03:12
21. Poem for June Jordan (feat. Leena Conquest) 03:02
22. Autumn Song (feat. Lisa Sokolov) 02:01
23. Falling Shadows (feat. Ellen Christi) 08:24
24. Tour of the Flying Poem (feat. Mola Sylla) 05:52
25. Prayer (feat. Leena Conquest) 03:54
26. The Essence of Ellington (feat. Ernie Odoom) 07:11
27. Lights of Lake George (feat. Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay) 04:37
28. For Fannie Lou Hamer (feat. Leena Conquest) 11:56
29. Deep Flower (feat. Ernie Odoom) 08:23
30. The Blinking of the Ear part 1: Meditation on Freedom (feat. AnnMarie Sandy) 04:57
31. The Blinking of the Ear part 2: Without Love Everything Will Fail (feat. AnnMarie Sandy) 03:42
32. The Blinking of the Ear part 3: Dark Remembrance (feat. AnnMarie Sandy) 07:01
33. The Blinking of the Ear part 4: Heavenly Home Meditation on Peace (feat. AnnMarie Sandy) 14:12
34. Natasha's Theme (feat. Leena Conquest) 02:04

All compositions by William Parker, © Centering Music

Produced by William Parker

New material recorded & mixed by
total material mastered by Jim Clouse
at Park West Studios, Brooklyn