William Parker – Voices Fall From The Sky

William Parker – Voices Fall From The Sky

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[CENTERING 1015/1016/1017] - 3-CD Box Set / CDs in "mini-LP" sleeves with a 40pg booklet feat. extensive & detailed notes by William Parker, much photography and full lyrics / poetry / additional texts by WP; all within a beautiful board-weight two-piece custom box.
/// Surprise find (!) in late August '21 of a small batch of these treasures at one of our distributors – so we called them back in to make available direct – (now 5 copies or fewer..) of this tremendously beautiful strictly ltd. edition Box Set.

/// Noting that Download at Bandcamp includes an extensive PDF featuring all notes/lyrics/art/photos.

“After a lifetime in free jazz, William Parker is ruminating on freedom in profoundly personal and spiritual terms. As always with Parker, the music is uncompromising—radical and radically beautiful.” –David Hadju, The Nation

“For lovers of song, this box set represents an inexhaustible, eloquent and impressively varied treasure trove. Even within the context of an extraordinary discography, it marks itself out as something uniquely rewarding. One of the essential releases of this, or any other, year.” –Steve Greenlee, Jazzwise

“Generous, roving and unbound. A mother lode of independent thought in a searching mode.” –Nate Chinen, WBGO

“9/10 Stars. In a career full of lofty goals and incredible highs, William Parker has once again sculpted an album that will stand apart from the pack through beauty alone. Once you take into account Parker's ambitiousness and his strong sense of social obligation, Voices Fall from the Sky rests on even sturdier ground. This is an album to take with you into the next lifetime.” –John Garratt, PopMatters

“To place William Parker squarely in the box labeled “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. Parker is forever forming environments in which transformation can occur and optimism thrive. Stones can become flowers, water and metal can merge and the simple act of raining rose petals is alchemical, turning motion to sound as dance transmogrifies into constructive protest or soul food as savory as the music on these discs.” –Marc Medwin, The New York City Jazz Record

A treasure box abounding with gems, Voices Fall From The Sky is an expansive 3 Album / 3-CD 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.

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 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 just previous release in this form, Stan’s Hat Flapping in the Wind: “Through these songs, love rains down.”

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 [Accompanists]: Yuko Fujiyama • Cooper-Moore • William Parker • Eri Yamamoto

Album 3 – Essence, presents voices within large ensemble & features newly edited iterations of previously released work together with a brand new suite 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. This composition would be recorded again in sextet version the month this box was released, and was released that November.

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

1. Espirito - 01:14
2. Airlift - 02:05
3. Bouquet for Borah - 12:26
4. City of Flowers - 06:02
5. Despues de la Guerra - 06:14
6. Small Lobby - 03:26
7. So, Important - 06:20
8. We Often Danced - 14:28
9. Voices Fall from the Sky - 06:43
10. Revolution - 05:39
11. A Tree Called Poem - 08:27

1. All I Want - 02:18
2. Baldwin's Interlude - 02:51
3. For Julius Eastman - 03:05
4. Aborigine Song - 02:05
5. Life Song - 04:16
6. Band in the Sky - 06:03
7. Sweet Breeze - 05:06
8. Morning Moon - 06:08
9. A Thought for Silence  - 03:12
10. Poem for June Jordan - 03:02
11. Autumn Song - 02:01
12. Falling Shadows - 08:24
13. Tour of the Flying Poem - 05:52
14. Prayer - 03:54

Album 3 – Essence
1. The Essence of Ellington - 07:11
2. Lights of Lake George - 04:37
3. For Fannie Lou Hamer - 11:56
4. Deep Flower - 08:23
5. The Blinking of the Ear part 1: Meditation on Freedom - 04:57
6. The Blinking of the Ear part 2: Without Love Everything Will Fail - 03:42
7. The Blinking of the Ear part 3: Dark Remembrance - 07:01
8. The Blinking of the Ear part 4: Heavenly Home Meditation on Peace - 14:12
9. Natasha's Theme - 02:04

All compositions (words & music) by William Parker
© Centering Music

Produced by William Parker for Centering Records
New material recorded & mixed by Jim Clouse
at Park West Studios, Brooklyn
Total work mastered by Jim Clouse
Cover painting by Lois Eby
Liner notes / song by song annotation by William Parker
Art direction & production assistance by Steven Joerg