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William Parker: Universal Tonality

4. William Parker Universal Tonality (Centering/AUM Fidelity)

Parker has become the treasured godfather of “avant-garde jazz” specifically for phenomenal events like this December 2002 concert, a two-hour journey involving 17 musicians. The 31-minute “Cloud Texture (Death Has Died Today),” rich with Asian strings and African American horns, narrated from a Native American perspective via Leena Conquest’s globally soulful talk-song, befriends chaos in conversation with clarity. And five other songs, the shortest one 10:14, besiege, beseech, regale, relax, heal, hail, and shout for joy at the sheer blues of it all. BRITT ROBSON