[AUM010/11] - 2-CD set in slimline brilliant box with 8-panel insert
William Parker: bass, compositions
Rob Brown: alto sax
Susie Ibarra: drums
[ + guest on track 5,
Assif Tsahar: bass clarinet ]
In the mid-90s, when William Parker took on the band leadership role that had long been urged on him by his fellow musicians, In Order To Survive was launched as his principal small ensemble. The group proceeded to regularly astonish audiences here in New York City, at various points West, and in Europe. Four remarkable albums were made during this time, for the Black Saint, Homestead, FMP, and AUM Fidelity labels. The Peach Orchard is a supremely vibrant "double-live" album, and is one of the defining recorded works of The Music in that era. It rocks & swings mightily, and gets into the mystic bountifully.
"Top Records of the Year" –The Wire
"Top 'Avant' Album of the Year" –Jazziz Reader's Poll
"Highly diverse in its compositional parameters, this double-CD reveres jazz's colorful history as much as it soars to new heights of improvisational glory, all while unfolding from the beautiful writing of bassist-leader William Parker. In these pieces you will hear history, you will sense the catalysts, feel joy, passion, sorrow, and, as always in the work of William Parker, hope. Hope in the form of optimism through the acquisition of wisdom, hope through the uplifting of the human spirit. I certainly feel the charge."
–Steve Brydges, Copper Press
"With its perfect mix of freedom and composition, The Peach Orchard is a true landmark for both Parker's career and creative music in general." –Chris Rice, Halana
From a Jazziz feature article on Mr. Parker at the time:
"Playing with energy and drive," explains the bassist, "is a very good way of getting sound to move. It gets you out of your present state into another state. Like a plane taking off, you have to reach a certain velocity to get out of the atmosphere."
The group infuses high-intensity energy into emphatic meditations across a range of subject matter. And at the heart of every piece beats Parker's ethos of the musician as a storyteller. "Whether you play loud or whether you play soft," he says, "you have to tell a story to make the music happen."
A few extracts from William Parker's notes:
"The main force in playing this music is having the ability to feel the pain of all who suffer. To feel it as if it were happening to us; not resting until it ceases to be. Feeling for others and believing that the only way to survive is through love of God (Self). Making sure that each sound that comes from your instrument is directed and filled with the strongest truth that exists.
"IN ORDER TO SURVIVE is the band's theme song. In it we state our motto: "In order to survive, we must keep hope alive."
The title song, THE PEACH ORCHARD, draws its inspiration from events that took place on the Navaho land in what is now called New Mexico. The great Navaho chief Manuelito and his people were fighting against being pushed out of their homelands by the United States Army. Out of all the things the Navaho cultivated they loved their peach orchards the most. In the end of this struggle they like all Native Americans lost everything, including their cherished peach orchard which was destroyed. In reading about this I immediately felt a very deep sadness. I can only imagine the sadness they must have felt. It was the beginning of the end. In this composition you can hear the massive blanketing of America by Europe; you can also hear the voice not only of Manuelito, but of Nana, Geronimo, Wovoka, Sitting Bull, Kicking Bird, Kicking Bear, and all of the others."
1. Thot - 14:15
2. Moholo - 18:54
3. Three Clay Pots - 15:26
4. The Peach Orchard - 20:45
5. Posium Pendasem #3 - 11:37
6. Leaf Dance - 25:27
7. Theme From Pelikan - 17:12
8. In Order To Survive - 12:53
All compositions by William Parker, © Centering Music (BMI)
Produced by William Parker and Steven Joerg
Recorded by Alen Hadzi Stefanov
1, 4: Context / NYC on March 20, 1998
2, 3, 8: Knitting Factory / NYC on July 2, 1997
6, 7: Alterknit / NYC on February 7, 1997
5: Context / NYC on March 21, 1998
Mixed by Alec Head at Knoop Music / River Edge, NJ
Mastered by Chris Flam at Mindswerve Studio / NYC
Liner notes by William Parker