Patricia Nicholson & William Parker – Hope Cries for Justice

Patricia Nicholson & William Parker – Hope Cries for Justice

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[CENTERING 1014] - CD in gatefold wallet sleeve

Patricia Nicholson: text, voice
William Parker: donso n’goni (1-9), bass (10, 11)

Many know of Patricia Nicholson from her organizational work as the founder of Arts for Art and the Vision Festival, which she has run for over two decades. Indeed, Nicholson has been so successful at honing her curatorial prowess and fostering of community, The New York Times exclaimed that Vision Fest was an "essential summit of experimental jazz" and NPR dubbed it "New York's most renowned avant-garde jazz happening." With Arts for Art, she likewise presents scores of concerts and mini-festivals throughout the year.

Yet Nicholson has always been a polyglot – in addition to her aforementioned roles, she has also led a prolific career as a dancer whose movement works in collaboration with free jazz artists are storied, and as a poet, as this duo album with her husband and musical partner, William Parker, evidences.

Although this is the first commercially available recording under her own name, Hope Cries For Justice comes from an artist fully comfortable in her own skin and powerful in her convictions. The album is intoxicating and enchanting from the first note Parker strums on the six string West African donso ngoni. Parker draws the listener in, with repetitive and trance-inducing grooves which Nicholson plays off of. "The way that William and I improvise is to go into a focused state, a kind of meditation. The words were, for the most part, pre-written, but I always will improvise because that is what I do. Focusing on the heart or spirit that is within and around us; to hear we tune in."

Nicholson’s voice is haunting and unforgettable, and she phrases off of Parker's melodic waves as a seasoned improviser would. The substance of Nicholson Parker’s lyrical content is comprised of her Vision stories, elucidating the abstract notion of how the spirit lives, works, brings joy, and suffers in this world.

The whole work channels Nicholson’s belief in compassion and tolerance which frees us and brings good to the world, as opposed to fear and all of its consequences which are ravaging the world.

In sum, Nicholson notes, “This is our duet, our lives, our shared beliefs. For me, music, words, movement – all come from the same spirit space.”


1. Taken - 03:10
2. Hunting down - 02:22
3. Back home - 06:45
4. A room of tones - 01:27
5. Worry Worry where you be stepping / Glimpse into the tone world - 03:15
6. The small change man / They stopped listening / Falling like a blessing - 05:10
7. Are they calling us forward - 05:54
8. Wailing at the Lost Soul Dep’t - 08:28
9. They came down to the Mountain - 10:19
10. Granola - 07:11
11. The Wall Between - 16:43

All text written by Patricia Nicholson
All music composed by William Parker
© Centering Music (BMI) 

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jim Clouse
at Park West Studios, Brooklyn
Painting and design by William Mazza