Rick Parker Collective: New York Gravity (2004)
Completing Parker's Collective are keyboardist Andrew Haskell and a rhythm section consisting of bassist Matt Grason and drummer Kyle Struve. All of these players, especially Parker and Haskell, are adept at moving in and out as Grason and Struve create compelling corners of rhythm to highlight in-your-face brass voicings or make for more subtle individual soloing.
Don't get the idea that this is safe mainstream fare, as there are plenty of moments in these ten newly composed pieces that surprise. Wilson's title cut awakens with an initial burst of brass before he solos over a pumping rhythmic backdrop. Ioannou's tenor initiates a wild ride through NYC with each instrumental solo cued by a changing tempo. Parker is a smooth t-bonist who is equally at home bopping along, joining in the chorus, creating a bluesy feel, as he does on "Experiment in Mist-ery, or ironing out the creases, as on "MC Filmmaker. Both "The Exit and "On the Move, with their irregular melodic moods, feature Parker's compositional skills front and center, while his "10/31 at Dusk is a quirky shifting take on the Greenwich Village Halloween parade. New York Gravity, with its complex compositions, inventive voicings, and varying rhythmic landscapes, is a force to be reckoned with.
Track Listing: 1. New York Gravity 2. Experiment in Mist-ery 3. M.C. Filmmaker 4. Thank You 5. On the Move 6. Transitation 7. The New Path 8. The Exit 9. Going Out 10. 10/31 at Dusk
Personnel: Rick Parker - trombone; Charis Ioannou - soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet; Andrew Haskell - piano and Fender Rhodes; Matt Grason - bass; Kyle Struve - drums; Thad Wilson - trumpet and flugelhorn.
Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent