William Parker and Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch
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“[William Parker is] the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.” – The Village Voice
“Bassist-composer Lisa Mezzacappa is one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene.” – San Jose Mercury News
Bass innovator, peerless improviser, prolific bandleader/composer and pillar of New York’s creative jazz community for decades, William Parker is an artistic force of nature and an inspiration to generations of musicians. A generous improviser with a warm tone and an artistic view that encompasses groove, sound, texture and song, Parker makes a rare West Coast performance in an intimate solo set of improvisations. Sharing the bill is Bay Area bassist Lisa Mezzacappa’s acclaimed quartet Bait & Switch, featuring her original compositions influenced by garage rock, free jazz, contemporary chamber music and Caribbean folk music. The concert is a special meeting of two improvising bassists, of different generations and working on opposite coasts, who are original voices and deeply rooted in their respective musical communities.
William Parker – bassist, bandleader, improviser, composer, writer – launched his career as a sideman in the 1970s, working with avant-garde jazz luminaries Ed Blackwell, Don Cherry, Bill Dixon, Sunny Murray, and others. He played with the Cecil Taylor Unit for more than a decade, and developed strong relationships with the European improvised music community, playing with musicians such as Peter Kowald, Peter Brotzmann, Han Bennink, Tony Oxley and Derek Bailey. In the past twenty years has had a prolific career as a leader, performing throughout the world and releasing more than 20 records with groups such as the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, William Parker’s Quartet, the Raining on the Moon Quintet and In Order To Survive. Recent innovative repertoire projects include “The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield,” and “The Essence of Ellington.” Solo concerts have been part of his work for many years; in 2011 he released an acclaimed 3-CD set of solo recordings on the AUM Fidelity label. With his wife, dancer Patricia Nicholson Parker, Parker is a driving force behind New York’s Arts for Art Organization and its legendary Vision Festival, an annual gathering attracting international visitors to concerts showcasing the New York creative music community.
Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco Bay Area-based bassist, composer, and musical instigator. An active collaborator and curator in the Bay Area music community, she leads her own groups Bait & Switch and Nightshade, and co-leads the ensembles duo B., Cylinder, the Permanent Wave Ensemble, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons. Lisa has released her own recordings on the Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, Evander, Odd Shaped Case and Edgetone record labels, and has recorded as a sideperson for the Tzadik, Kadima and Porto Franco labels. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, film/video, sculpture and public music/art. New projects in the works include an avant-folk string band, a trio with Brooklyn vocalist Fay Victor, and a cross-planetary collaboration with Venice reed player/composer Piero Bittolo Bon. Lisa has performed at countless Bay Area venues including Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, Yoshi’s, the Jazzschool, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco; as well as the Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle; the Montreal Jazz Festival, Canada; the Monterey Jazz Festival, CA and the Novara Jazz Festival, Italy.