Ron Jackson & Nicki Parrott: Concrete Jungle
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Taking on a play list of mostly their individual originals, guitarist Ron Jackson and bassist Nicki Parrott joined other seasoned jazz professionals to put together an album designed for long lasting listening. A bass and guitar duo might be dubbed the "Odd Couple". But the combination works because these two obviously want it to. Jackson's guitar is pitched high and he avoids for the most part smeary chordal attacks allowing Parrott's low pitched instrument to be heard. The Australian based bassist gets a tremendous amount of melody out of that sometimes unwieldy instrument. She's not here just to pluck in order to lay a foundation for everyone else as she demonstrates on a rhythmic "Bondi" which she composed. The album has a Carribean, Latin, Salsa mien to it. Tunes like "Bondi" and "People Make the World Go Round" all have that jaunty Latin beat. "Back in the Islands" is where this song will bring you, down to Jamaica or somewhere like it. This is one of the three tracks where Sam Newsome shows up with his soprano saxophone. The whining instrument seems out of place on this jaunty tune. A flute might have been more appropriate. But there's some dazzling fingering by Jackson here to compensate for the soprano's out of place intrusion. Moreover, there are other delights on this session which will engage the listener. Lafayette Harris' piano joins the fray on the bop blues with "C Minor Jam Blues". Parrott is masterful as she stays right in there on this fast paced tune, making a strong walking bass statement to boot. This track is special and one of the album's high spots. Nat Adderley's jazz classic "Old Country" is another vehicle for Parrott to display her virtuosity on the bass as the first chorus belongs to her with Jackson playing rhythm and Dion Parson's tapping sticks, punctuating at the right spots.
A well conceived, well played outing is captured on this recommended CD. Visit Ron at www.jazzcorner.com/ronjackson/ronjacksonprojects.html.
Track Listing: Feed the Fire#; Old Country; People Make the World Go Round; Bondi*; For Rachel&; To Us#; Concrete Jungle&; Felicidade*; Back in the Islands*&; C Minor Jam Blues#; People Make the World Go Round
Personnel: Ron Jackson - Guitar; Nicki Parrott - Bass; Caf
Record Label: Airmen Records