William Parker Interview

Source: BassPlayer.com.

William Parker is the Philosopher-King of New York’s improvised music scene, a gentle but towering godfather renowned for his work with everyone from Fred Anderson to John Zorn. His flexible and sensitive presence has left its mark on over 200 albums since 1973, including more than 50 as a leader, two dozen albums with David S. Ware, over a dozen discs each with Matthew Shipp and Cecil Taylor, as well as multiple collaborations with Peter Brötzmann and Jemeel Moondoc. Parker’s acoustic lines, sometimes augmented by his gimbri, percussion, and reeds forays, have laid the foundation for performances of every size, from solo bass situations to his own very large Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. And though he’s closely tied to free jazz and avant-jazz, Parker’s playing—more soulful, melodic, grounded, and playful than those genres might suggest—organically and deftly sidesteps narrow stylistic categories.