William Parker feat. Lisa Sokolov & Cooper-Moore – Stan's Hat Flapping In The Wind

William Parker feat. Lisa Sokolov & Cooper-Moore – Stan's Hat Flapping In The Wind

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[CENTERING 1012] - CD in deluxe 6-panel digipak

William Parker: compositions
Lisa Sokolov: voice
Cooper–Moore: piano
w/ Jake Sokolov-Gonzalez: cello on Invocation

Stan’s Hat Flapping In The Wind presents work from one of the music world's most advanced thinkers (and doers) presented in one of the most traditional of forms. 19 new songs composed by William Parker, and performed by singer Lisa Sokolov & pianist Cooper–Moore. Parker is – among his many great talents – a master of evocative song, as readily evidenced on the contemporary classic Corn Meal Dance, and the more recently released Great Spirit, by his Raining On The Moon ensemble. The compositions and performances here are, as ever, illuminated with Parker’s devotion to compassion for all life. They touch on the possibility of peace and truth prevailing in the present.

Lisa Sokolov is a jazz vocalist, improviser and composer known for her pioneering range of tone, timbre and expression. Parker has worked with her for over 35 years in many situations. As he writes in the liner notes to this release, “Lisa is a master of music healing, interpretation and vocal creativity. I don’t know of any other singer who puts as much love and dedication into singing.” One of her own releases, Presence, received a 5-Star “Masterpiece” review in DownBeat, and their January 2010 issue cited the album as one of the Best CDs of the Decade. Sokolov is currently a full arts professor at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and is recognized in the music therapy world as an innovator in the applications of the voice to human potential.

Cooper–Moore is another rightly acclaimed great artist in the realm of avant-garde jazz, though he has an incredibly rich history in all manner of performance. He, too, has worked with Parker for many decades, including within his free-jazz supergroup, In Order To Survive. A multi-instrumentalist, composer, storyteller, instrument-builder and educator living in East Harlem, Cooper-Moore's approach to music goes beyond simple categorization. Though what he is working on now is informed by Creative Improvised Music and the jazz avant-garde, his ears are rooted in the Gospel, Blues and Bluegrass traditions from where he came, rural segregated Virginia.

Stan’s Hat Flapping In The Wind is also the name of a musical that William Parker has been writing since 1994. To date he has composed over sixty songs for the production. In this musical, the principal characters – through tribulations and exposure to the magic of all life around them – begin to learn the art of living and the systems of sacred music. On this new studio recording, 19 of these songs are presented. All of them are connected in that they all reflect on the mysteries of death and life. Many of Parker’s touchstone subject matters abound: compassion for all living things, the magic of sound, the revolutionary nature of flowers, and deeply affecting dedications and invocations to enlightened spirits who have departed this realm.

"Like many significant musicians, William Parker [also] conceives of work to which he does not have to make a direct contribution. Like Ornette, he writes songs for others to play that are steeped in his spirit while allowing the chosen performers sufficient space to express themselves. This set of quite beautiful compositions could not have been brought to life more effectively than by Lisa Sokolov and Cooper-Moore, longstanding Parker collaborators (over three decades, no less) who compellingly reach both the requisite emotional depths and sonic beauty, above all through the singer’s tonal range and the pianist’s touch and rhythmic balance. This is as much a gospel album as anything but one that acknowledges the proximity of a post-‘New music’ aesthetic to the traditions of Mahalia Jackson, Paul Robeson and Mavis Staples. If anybody can make the point that what is called avant-garde music stands on the same earth as the black church, primarily through their common ecstatic energy, then it is Parker and this great duo that more than does justice to a remarkably consistent repertoire. Depth of feeling and richness of sound sit in near-perfect harmony. Received wisdom holds that a piano-vocal duet favours a trip to calmer musical waters and while there are moments of magnificent introspection here there are also torrents of bracing energy. The likes of Abbey Lincoln and Hank Jones would surely have been proud." –Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise

"As Parker reminds us, the tears of God are the source of sacred music. Through these songs, love rains down." –Stewart Smith, The Wire

1. Footnote to a Dream (for Miguel Piñero) - 02:27
2. The End of the World - 01:22
3. Hero's Song - 01:12
4. Beloved Soul - 02:43
5. The Death of Death - 04:31
6. Eternal (for Ornette Coleman) - 02:13
7. Norway - 00:24
8. Soul in Heaven (for Butch Morris) - 03:32
9. When a Sound Dances - 00:31
10. Mahalia 02:53
11. Autumn Song 02:00
12. All Love 05:02
13. The Greatest Revolutionary 02:41
14. For Jeanne Lee 02:48
15. Poem for June Jordan 03:15
16. Prayer 03:19
17. Invocation (for David S. Ware) 05:23
18. Angel's Tear 02:13
19. Light 00:50

All compositions (music & lyrics) by William Parker;

© Centering Music (BMI)

Recorded & mixed by Jim Clouse in March 2015
at Park West Studio, Brooklyn, NY
Produced by William Parker for Centering Records
Paintings by Douglas Arnold
Art direction by Ming@AUM
Liner notes by William Parker