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Jeff Parker - Suite for Max Brown

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Suite for Max Brown

Jeff Parker

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Guitarist and composer Jeff Parker made a name for himself first with Tortoise during the '90s, and then as an integral member of the experimental music scene in Chicago. He's made a career of jumping the dimensions between rock, soul, funk, and jazz. Unknown to all but his contemporaries and musician friends, he also pursued his intense love of hip-hop without recording any of it; that is, until he released The New Breed from his adopted home in Los Angeles in 2016. He became a mad beats pilgrim, melding bass-throbbing, spine-quaking, bass-centric, hip-hop production inside improvised music, threaded through with R&B, dirty funk, and his own vision of glitched-up future jazz. While that recording revealed his respect and gratitude for his departed father, Suite for Max Brown is titled for and dedicated to his very-much-alive mother. Produced by the artist and engineered by Paul Bryan, it is a continuation of the sounds explored on New Breed. It includes most of the same sidemen, though it's more a solo date than a band date, and its tunes meander and stroll through thoughtful, creative, loose-sounding compositions. Daughter Ruby Parker reprises her role from New Breed with a slippery, souled-out vocal on opener "Build a Nest" atop a hip-hop shuffle, piano breaks, and fiery guitar solos. "C'mon Now" samples Otis Redding's "The Happy Song (Dum Dum)" for 26 seconds before "Fusion Swirl" claims the fore, turning on a collision of clattering breaks, droning synths, and popping, propulsive bass. The cover of John Coltrane's "After the Rain" is drenched in impressionistic yet opulent lyricism as Josh Johnson's electric piano floats above Jamire Williams' rolling drum kit and Bryan's intuitive bassline. The funky, beat-centric jazz on "Gnarciss" contains foundational elements from Joe Henderson's classic composition "Black Narcissus," as sampled vibes, Rob Mazurek's piccolo trumpet, and Makaya McCraven's sampler and drums emphasize the new melody issued by Parker's single-string playing and chord voicings alongside Johnson's spare saxophone lines. "Three for L" is a lovely ballad played by Parker and ace drummer Jay Bellerose. In ¾ time, it references the guitarist's heroes from Grant Green and Tal Farlow to Jim Hall and David T. Walker. The title-track closer is a ten-minute suite played by a quintet including trumpeter Nate Wolcott. While firmly rooted in soulful post-bop, its organic rhythms are adorned by shimmering ride cymbal work from Williams. The interplay between Nate Wolcott and Johnson's alto saxophone is canny, and songlike in its melodic expression through the first half, even as Bryan asserts a third harmonic line with his bass. Parker's analog synth adds pillowy textures, as he comps, fills, and slides on guitar. Johnson's horn eventually moves afield before the entire thing turns inward during its final third as synth and guitar create a mantra-like vamp. Suite for Max Brown may be a direct sequel to its predecessor, but it's nonetheless creative and thoughtful. It's also very accessible. Experimental music never sounded this welcoming. ~ Thom Jurek

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Suite for Max Brown

Jeff Parker

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1
Build a Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)
00:02:13

Dave Cooley, Masterer - Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Drums, Electric Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor - Ruby Parker, Vocals, FeaturedArtist

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

2
C'mon Now
00:00:25

Dave Cooley, Masterer - Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

3
Fusion Swirl
00:05:32

Dave Cooley, Masterer - Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

4
After the Rain
00:04:45

John Coltrane, Composer, Writer - Dave Cooley, Masterer - Jeff Parker, Producer, Percussion, Electric Piano, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer, Bass Guitar - Josh Johnson, Electric Piano - Jamire Williams, Drums

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

5
Metamorphoses
00:01:48

Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Glockenspiel, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

6
Gnarciss
00:02:12

Rob Mazurek, Piccolo Trumpet - Dave Cooley, Masterer - Joe Henderson, Composer, Writer - Jeff Parker, Producer, Electric Guitar, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer, Bass Guitar - Katinka Kleijn, Cello - Josh Johnson, Alto Saxophone - Makaya McCraven, Drums

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

7
Lydian, Etc.
00:00:55

Dave Cooley, Masterer - Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Electric Guitar, Writer, Pandeiro, Programming, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer, Bass Guitar

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

8
Del Rio
00:01:38

Dave Cooley, Masterer - Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Drums, Electric Guitar, Electric Piano, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer, Bass Guitar

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

9
3 for L
00:04:47

Jay Bellerose, Drums, Percussion - Dave Cooley, Masterer - Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Electric Guitar, Synthesizer, Transcriber, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

10
Go Away
00:04:58

Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer, Bass Guitar, Vocals - Makaya McCraven, Drums

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

11
Max Brown
00:10:36

Dave Cooley, Masterer - Nate Walcott, Trumpet - Jeff Parker, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Writer, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Paul Bryan, Producer, Mixer, Music Editor, Engineer, Bass Guitar - Josh Johnson, Alto Saxophone - Jamire Williams, Drums

2020 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America. 2019 International Anthem Recording Co. LLC, marketed and distributed by Nonesuch Records Inc in North and South America.

Album Description

Guitarist and composer Jeff Parker made a name for himself first with Tortoise during the '90s, and then as an integral member of the experimental music scene in Chicago. He's made a career of jumping the dimensions between rock, soul, funk, and jazz. Unknown to all but his contemporaries and musician friends, he also pursued his intense love of hip-hop without recording any of it; that is, until he released The New Breed from his adopted home in Los Angeles in 2016. He became a mad beats pilgrim, melding bass-throbbing, spine-quaking, bass-centric, hip-hop production inside improvised music, threaded through with R&B, dirty funk, and his own vision of glitched-up future jazz. While that recording revealed his respect and gratitude for his departed father, Suite for Max Brown is titled for and dedicated to his very-much-alive mother. Produced by the artist and engineered by Paul Bryan, it is a continuation of the sounds explored on New Breed. It includes most of the same sidemen, though it's more a solo date than a band date, and its tunes meander and stroll through thoughtful, creative, loose-sounding compositions. Daughter Ruby Parker reprises her role from New Breed with a slippery, souled-out vocal on opener "Build a Nest" atop a hip-hop shuffle, piano breaks, and fiery guitar solos. "C'mon Now" samples Otis Redding's "The Happy Song (Dum Dum)" for 26 seconds before "Fusion Swirl" claims the fore, turning on a collision of clattering breaks, droning synths, and popping, propulsive bass. The cover of John Coltrane's "After the Rain" is drenched in impressionistic yet opulent lyricism as Josh Johnson's electric piano floats above Jamire Williams' rolling drum kit and Bryan's intuitive bassline. The funky, beat-centric jazz on "Gnarciss" contains foundational elements from Joe Henderson's classic composition "Black Narcissus," as sampled vibes, Rob Mazurek's piccolo trumpet, and Makaya McCraven's sampler and drums emphasize the new melody issued by Parker's single-string playing and chord voicings alongside Johnson's spare saxophone lines. "Three for L" is a lovely ballad played by Parker and ace drummer Jay Bellerose. In ¾ time, it references the guitarist's heroes from Grant Green and Tal Farlow to Jim Hall and David T. Walker. The title-track closer is a ten-minute suite played by a quintet including trumpeter Nate Wolcott. While firmly rooted in soulful post-bop, its organic rhythms are adorned by shimmering ride cymbal work from Williams. The interplay between Nate Wolcott and Johnson's alto saxophone is canny, and songlike in its melodic expression through the first half, even as Bryan asserts a third harmonic line with his bass. Parker's analog synth adds pillowy textures, as he comps, fills, and slides on guitar. Johnson's horn eventually moves afield before the entire thing turns inward during its final third as synth and guitar create a mantra-like vamp. Suite for Max Brown may be a direct sequel to its predecessor, but it's nonetheless creative and thoughtful. It's also very accessible. Experimental music never sounded this welcoming. ~ Thom Jurek

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