Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

HI-RES$14.99
CD$12.99

Jazz - Released January 24, 2020 | International Anthem - Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet
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
CD$8.99

Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Delmark

In Chicago jazz circles, guitarist Jeff Parker is known for playing a lot of avant-garde jazz--specifically, avant-garde jazz of the AACM variety. One of the groups that he has played with is the Chicago Underground Quartet, whose work has been influenced by AACM explorers like Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams and Anthony Braxton. But Parker isn't strictly an avant-garde player, and Like-Coping is actually more inside than outside. Like-Coping, the guitarist's first album as a leader, isn't as far to the left as some might expect--most of the CD is devoted to inside post-bop playing. Forming a trio with drummer Chad Taylor (a member of the Chicago Underground Quartet) and bassist Chris Lopes, Parker tends to be intellectual but in an inside, relatively melodic way. Nonetheless, Like-Coping does have its outside moments. "Omega Sci-Fi" and "Holiday for a Despot" are right out of the AACM school of avant-garde playing--and that means the tunes favor space over density and don't go out of their way to be harsh or abrasive. Some free jazz can be downright blistering--Charles Gayle, Albert Ayler and post-1965 John Coltrane are examples of how ferocious the more dense free jazz can be--but when Like-Coping detours into outside playing, Parker is more reflective and spacy than confrontational. Not that this 2002 session goes outside very often--again, Like-Coping is, for the most part, an album of inside post-bop. Parker isn't one to be pigeonholed, and he wisely keep his options open on his enjoyable debut as a leader. ~ Alex Henderson
CD$8.99

Classical - Released June 21, 2018 | NotTwo

CD$10.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 24, 2016 | International Anthem

The New Breed is Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker's first solo album since 2004's The Relatives. It's also his first solo work since relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles, a city with a highly productive music scene blending jazz, hip-hop, soul, and electronic music, as represented by labels such as Brainfeeder and Alpha Pup and weekly club events such as Low End Theory. Parker has experimented with samples, loops, and hip-hop production for a while, but he hadn't really explored these techniques in his own music before. On The New Breed, Parker builds improvisations around wobbly loops sourced from scratchy old vinyl records, nodding to underground hip-hop producers such as J Dilla but never trying to replicate their style. The album is still clearly focused around Parker's guitar playing, which is free and spontaneous yet tightly controlled, experimental without being challenging, and easy to listen to without coming close to sounding like "smooth jazz." Most of the drums are live, and while they're fluid and never stick to one beat pattern, there are certainly moments when they seem influenced by hip-hop or neo-soul rhythms. "Here Comes Ezra" is built atop a ticking drum-machine beat, but even with a tighter rhythmic structure, it still feels loose and comfortable, especially when it breaks free at the very end with live drums and additional instruments. "Jrifted" seems appropriately free-spirited, not "free jazz" but floating along with a tranquil rhythm and ending with a brief bit of beat science. "Get Dressed" is built around a gritty drum loop and handclaps, and features cheerful conversation in the background. The album's artwork is adorned with family photos, and Parker's daughter Ruby sings on the final song, "Cliche," so the album seems highly personal. The New Breed is a warm, inviting album of reflection and inspiration that finds Parker easily adapting new techniques to his signature style. ~ Paul Simpson
CD$8.99

Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Delmark

Drummer, composer, and bandleader Ted Sirota is a passionate young man who lives his political, social, and cultural convictions through his music with his Rebel Souls musical outfit. On his first outing for the Delmark label, Sirota and his longtime mate, guitarist Jeff Parker, who emigrated from the Berklee College of Music to Chicago with him, turns in one of the most inspiring, integrational "jazz" performances since Charlie Haden's first Liberation Music Orchestra album. There are 11 tunes on the set, five of which were composed by Sirota, and the rest by bandmembers Parker, saxophonist Geof Bradfield, trombonist Jeb Bishop, and bassist Clark Sommers. The sheer musical and emotional range of this band is startling. From the drummed up and dubbed out African-and-reggae-groove-meets-post-bop of Sirota's "Saro-Wira," to his driven, electric, electronic, and stomping blues work "Chairman Fred (I Wish Fred Hampton Was Here)," Sirota's own compositions are rooted in the music and pulse of the current culture. On the latter tune, Hampton's voice is interspersed through the loping melody that strides a homecoming funereal and bar walking blues, along with the ringing lines of Parker's lamenting guitar, Bradfield's short phrases, and the skronk of a Korg synthesizer toward the end, and place this outside the purview of any music but jazz, but keeps its sentiments in the community of popular language. On the former, Sirota roots his attack in African folk music from Nigeria, as well as in Bob Marley's righteous anthem "Get Up, Stand Up." Guitars slide around the punchy horn lines and rhythms pop out all over the place. Elsewhere, Bradfield's haunting ballad "Elegy" offers an intricate and effortless portrait of the group's melodic sense. The knotted up bop lines of the title track offer starling complexity and a sense of contrapuntal sophistication rarely heard in such young players. The lilting beauty of Sommers "Pablo," with its loping, graceful lines and soft skittering rhythms, is elegant, graceful, and beautifully understated, offering yet another side of a band that can stomp, wail, weep, whisper, and sing together seemingly without effort. Sirota is a bandleader who knows how to get the best form his players, making the Rebel Souls a band who has arrived fully on the scene with an identity all their own. Breeding Resistance is a very important outing for the new jazz, and indeed proves that jazz as an idiom still has plenty of directions left to travel in. ~ Thom Jurek
CD$5.99

Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Delmark

At the time of this 2002 recording, tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson was 74 and had been leading the house band at Chicago's Velvet Lounge for 21 years. There has been no mellowing in his adventurous flights and Anderson, who has a huge tone and sometimes hints at Sonny Rollins and (to a lesser extent) Gene Ammons, always pushes himself. His five lengthy originals are challenging yet loose enough for the musicians to be quite spontaneous. Trumpeter Maurice Brown (52 years Anderson's junior and sounding at times like early Don Cherry) shows lots of potential, the pianoless rhythm section is stimulating and supportive, and guest Harrison Bankhead helps out by playing acoustic guitar on "Job Market Blues" and bass on the first two numbers. "Fougeux" is a straight-ahead blowout, "Olivia" (which features two bassists) starts out as a ballad before getting more heated, "Job Market Blues" is a long jam over a one-chord vamp (rather than being an actual blues), and "Syene" is a mysterious strut with Brown's most rewarding solo of the live set. Saving the best for last, the final number of the CD, "King Fish," has some funky playing by bassist Tatsu Aoki and drummer Chad Taylor that leads to some colorful free bop interplay by the two horns over the walking bass. Although technically "avant-garde," the music on this lively outing should interest straight-ahead jazz fans too, for these Chicago-based musicians are all worthy of greater recognition. ~ Scott Yanow
HI-RES$1.99
CD$1.49

Jazz - Released January 6, 2020 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res
HI-RES$1.49
CD$0.99

Jazz - Released May 21, 2018 | International Anthem Recording Co.

Hi-Res
HI-RES$1.99
CD$1.49

Jazz - Released January 17, 2020 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res
CD$7.99

Miscellaneous - Released February 10, 2015 | Lonesome Day

CD$1.49

Jazz - Released December 2, 2019 | International Anthem - Nonesuch

CD$7.99

Folk/Americana - Released October 29, 2013 | Lonesome Day

CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 4, 2016 | International Anthem

CD$7.99

Country - Released July 10, 2012 | Lonesome Day

CD$7.99

Country - Released July 20, 2004 | Lonesome Day

Artist

Jeff Parker in the magazine
  • Jeff Parker's futuristic jazz
    Jeff Parker's futuristic jazz With his new album, the Tortoise guitarist experiments with jazz. Always melodic and often moving, the album is dedicated to his mother Max Brown.