Parker Abbott Trio: Elevation

Dan McClenaghan By

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It's hard to imagine a musical palette with more sonic possibilities: It's a bunch of 88s: two pianos, combined with an array of electric keyboards: Moogs, MicroKorgs (sounds like small aliens from the planet Korgon), glockenspiels, melodicas, a Hammond B-3 organ, a Nord Electro, a Microbrute (a diminutive schoolyard bully?), a Moog Sub Phatty. And throw in some inspired drums and percussion.

That's Toronto's Parker Abbott Trio. Two keyboardists—Teri Parker and Simeon Abbott, along with drummer Mark Segger—who offer up here a set of succinct (in the three to five minute range), well-crafted tunes that sound like a cocktail mix of pop/rock sensibilities stirred up with Medeski Martin & Wood, with a shot glass Brad Meldau poured into the concoction—specifically, the Largo (Nonesuch Records, 2011) set, with more of a sense of fun.

The group molds sound with a refreshing energy, featuring the piano's concise notes probing into the more sustained electro-backdrops: orchestral sweeps and cool, subtle drones.

"Everyday Grey" opens the set sounding like something out of the Nirvana songbook, a trudging, gloomy rhythm sprinkled with piano sparkles. "Octopus" steps lightly, with all eight legs—or four hands, more accurately—with piano and electric keyboard dancing a hot jitterbug with each other. "Nothing Left To Eat" shimmers on a slow search through the empty cupboard in the beginning, before it bursts into a brief rock-groove rhythm that slips, back to the shimmer, and again to the groove. "Night Song" is dreamy, diaphanous, pensive, beautiful.

Elevation is an offering made of a focused musical vision. Repeated listens are well-rewarded.

Track Listing: Everyday Grey; Octopus; Nothing Left to Eat; Disclosure; Elevation; Apartment; Nidra; Zinnia; Gregory; Maybe.

Personnel: Teri Parker: piano, Nord Electro; MicroKorg; Mopho x4; glockenspiel; melodica; Simeon Abbott: piano; Hammond B-3; Nord Electro; MicroKorg; Moog Sub Phatty; Microbrute. Mark Segger: drums.

Title: Elevation | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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