William Parker Interview

Source: Myself With Others. Coming December 21.

The bassist, composer and poet William Parker is the soul of the Lower East Side free jazz scene. A veteran of ensembles led by Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon, Billy Bang and David S. Ware, Parker is also remarkable leader in his own right. In 2021 he released a ten-disc boxed set, The Music of William Parker: Migration of Silence into and out of the Tone World, Volumes 1-10, featuring compositions in a dizzying range of styles. With his wife and collaborator, the dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker, Parker has turned the annual Vision Festival into one of the defining events in New York creative music. In our conversation, William spoke to me about his early years in the Bronx, how he rose up in the “Loft scene” of the 1970s, his experiences with Cecil Taylor, and his understanding of music as a force of revolutionary social transformation.