A Duet for Poet and Improvised Bass

William Parker & David Budbill


Support a local, independent bookstore. Order this two CD set from:

The Galaxy Bookshop

or from

BOXHOLDER RECORDS P.O. Box 779 Woodstock, VT 05091-0779

T: 802-457-8150 F: 802-457-4254 Email: Boxholdr@aol.com

for information and bookings call: (802) 888-3729

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“In concert, Parker’s combination of elemental power and responsive generosity can be earth shaking. [He is] the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.”

The Village Voice

“[Budbill’s writing is] wrenchingly real, fiercely emotional and unexpectedly funny.”

Chicago Sun Times


Poems from Budbill’s book, MOMENT TO MOMENT: POEMS OF A MOUNTAIN RECLUSE plus the music of world-renown bassist, composer and multi-instrumentalist William Parker playing his original compositions on acoustic bass, Gralle–a double reed from Barcelona–the Shakuhachi–a vertical, Japanese bamboo flute–pocket trumpet, slit drum, valve trombone and innumerable bells, gongs and other percussion.




for the most recent review published in September 2001 go to: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Akzfexqe0ld6e

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“The plaintive rawness of Budbill’s Taoist and Zen-inspired poetry keeps perfect company with Parker’s spontaneous, experimental music. . . . [Here also is] the almost-forgotten pleasure of hearing words and music presented in such a direct and unadorned way.”

SHAMBHALA SUN, January 2000

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“PICK OF THE YEAR: “In a year of great awareness and music, it is incredibly difficult to pick one favorite CD….I thought of Belle and Sebastian, Thievery Corporation, Matthew Shipp, Sun Ra in Egypt, Johnny Cash in Jail and Captain Beefhart. All this finally ended with ZEN MOUNTAINS-ZEN STREETS….Under Budbill’s Zen reflections, Parker lays deep, deep soulful bass lines with the feeling of sunlight. Working together, the two create a world similar to the reflection of your face in a windswept lake, making you feel brisk chills and stand in awe.”

WOOVE, Fall 1999
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

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“When I came to hear Budbill and Parker, I knew I was going to hear great poetry and bass playing. What I didn’t know is that the audience would respond to this work by becoming deeply silent and rapt in the experience. Slowly, this evening, I realized I was in a sitting meditation with a hundred other people.”


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“Budbill is…a wide-open, vulnerable, questioning rural-mystic acutely aware of the difference between a wise man and a wise guy….Parker is the perfect accompanist: ever-present and never overbearing….[His] compositions…gently impel and embellish the spoken words with an electrical impulse of their own….

“The seemingly mismatched men–Parker’s cool, urban, African-American and Budbill’s white, poetically anxious, rural recluse–are in fact as comfortable together as a pair of socks….

“‘My life is like the bird’s path across the sky. It will leave no trail,’ Budbill says plaintively. It’s likely ZEN MOUNTAINS-ZEN STREETS will prove him wrong….

“…a brilliant collaboration.”

SEVEN DAYS, 30 June 1999

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Both Budbill and Parker are students of the human condition and this is what stands out.

Parker alternates between backing Budbill’s voice and doing his own extemporaneous improvisations [on] . . . many instruments . . . in addition to his upright bass. . . Budbill . . . has a powerful and commanding voice that reveals a love of performance as well as a heartfelt belief that what he is saying matters.

This disc deserves a fine place in the cupboard of improvisation.

Micah Holmquist
JAZZ REVIEW, Volume 60

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“Without a doubt, the finest jazz/poetry project to come along in a very long while. Featuring the beautiful poetry of David Budbill whose words come from what the Taoists call Wu-wei, spontaneous action in accordance with one’s own nature. And for fans of William Parker, well, all we can say is that this may be his finest recorded performance. With a great bonus of hearing William also perform on the Gralle, the Shakuhachi, pocket trumpet, valve trombone.”

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“From the ritualistic opening of double reed and gong, we are on a long journey that David illuminates with scenes and observations from his life story. A friendly voice, a wise voice, a natural voice like the wind blowing freely through the woods of Judevine Mountain….William does a fine job allowing these poems to unfold at their own pace, while he accompanies the stories with haunting resolve and a constant inner dialogue. David’s observations often ring true for all of us–the lifelong struggle for survival, our darker side taking over our positive side and the healing power of music and poetry. There are even a few funny moments to ponder. There is a refreshing unrushed purity to this entire endeavor, quite moving.”


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“The pairing is supremely sensitive, supportive and successful, with Parker’s soulful musical commentary flowing as easily as Budbill’s fully organic, resonant bon mots.”

SIGNAL TO NOISE, Sept/Oct 1999



History of performances


IN 2008

Sept 25: The Hardwick Townhouse, Hardwick, VT, 7:00 p.m.

Sept 27: The Flynn Space, Burlington, VT, 8:00 p.m.

Sept 28: The Unitarian Universalist Church, Woodstock, VT, 4:00 p.m.

Sept 29: Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT, Whittemore Theatre, 7:00 p.m.

Sept 30: workshop with Marlboro College students, Campus Center, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m


IN 2001

March 21: The Prism, Charlottesville, VA, 9:00 p.m


IN 2000

April 27: The Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 7:00 p.m.

November 30: New England College, Simon Center, Henniker, NH, 7:30 p.m.


IN 1999

Oct 3: The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, New York, NY, 4:00 p.m.


IN 1998

Oct 14: New England College, Simon Center, Henniker, NH, 7:00 p.m.

Oct 15: Conway New Music Society, Unitarian Meeting House, Amherst, MA, 8:00p.m.

Oct 16: Pentangle Arts Council, Little Theatre, Woodstock, VT, 7:30 p.m.

Oct 17: Onion River Arts Council, Bethany Church, Montpelier, VT, 8:00 p.m.

Oct 18: On-Stage Series at the Flynn Theatre, Burlington, VT, 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Oct 20: Middlebury College, McCullough Student Center, Middlebury, VT, 8:00 p.m.


In Performance At The
Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe
in New York City,
October 3rd 1999





All pictures on this page by: Cathryn Dwyre