You gotta love a good album cover, even if a photo of a big goofy-looking dog has nothing to do with the music. But why notMatt Jorgensen did it with Hope (Origin Records, '04), and there was some first-rate modern-leaning stuff on that disc. The same goes for the Rick Parker Collective's Finding Space.
Parker is a youngnot yet thirty years oldNew York-based trombonist with some serious chops; but it's his bandleading and composing skills that stand out most. He was a winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for '04/'05, and those skills shine on Finding Space, an all-original set.
His tunes all tell stories that change pace and switch narrators and twist and turn, rise and fall, change gears and generally keep the listener off balance, sliding from the pastoral to the prickly within the same song, avoiding the predictable at every step. Lots of surprises, lots of fabulously inspired soloing all around, from saxophonist Xavier Perez, keyboardist Sam Barsh and the leader, along with special guests Maurice Brown (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Jaleel Shaw (alto sax).
That said, the group is a "collective." Sometimes there is a classical feel, a cerebral sound coming from the collective gut. The atmosphere reminds me of Grachan Moncur III's sound, mixed in with some Andrew Hillfluid and ever-shifting momentum and abstract beauty that keeps the mainstream in sight.
This is just Parker's second set as a leaderhis first was New York Gravity (Fresh Sound New Talent, '04). On Finding Space he proves himself a major talent on the rise.
Track Listing: McKibbin; Nervous Energy; Lost in the Woodshed; Three Steps From Village A; Gavin's Prelude; Roots; Finding Space; Euro Ring.
Personnel: Rick Parker: trombone; Xavier Perez: saxophones; Sam Barsh: piano, nord electro; Gavin Fallow: bass; Kyle Struve: drums. Special Guests: Maurice Brown: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jaleel Shaw: trumpet.
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand. Their massive record collection, my parents taking me to concerts and clubs (only one of five kids to do so), the Magnavox furniture stereo/radio ... it all added up. It was complex, emotional music. And it had rhythm! I drummed and followed the music through the '60s even as I enjoyed the new musics of my generation.
Along with side-trips to other musicians and music, it's been one hell of a pony ride ever since.