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Mike Parker’s Unified Theory: Embrace The Wild

Glenn Astarita By

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For an all-acoustic jazz unit this band transmits an electrifying presence. New York reared bassist, composer Mike Parker's residence in Poland is a fruitful one, evidenced by the quality of musicianship he garners for this set that integrates manifold genres into the jazz vernacular. Along with little big band type horns charts and other variables, the bassist lays down a corpulent and fluid bottom-end.

The quintet is apt to rock your socks off. As they kick it off with Parker's stout bass lines on"Kobra Kai Dance Remix," layered with the frontline's popping and swirling notes and an off-center groove-centric melody line, culminated by alto saxophonist Bartek Prucnal's stormy soloing jaunt. The musicians navigate through funk, bop, and rock idioms while incorporating snazzy opuses with the discipline and complexities of a large scale orchestra. In addition, the artists' often dig deep via dynamic exchanges and swiftly executed unison choruses amid a host of succinctly stated melodic hooks.

Parker begins "Sendoff for Sendak" with a deep and melancholic bowed-bass motif, followed by drummer Dawid Fortuna's slow rock pulse, generating a slowly advancing jazz dirge and textured by the hornists' surging cadenzas. Yet they kick the festivities into a higher gear with a bustling and impacting bop vibe during "All Saints: movement II," tempered by a solemn bridge and followed by group-focused rebuilding process. However, they close the program with a retro, fast-paced drums n' bass groove on "All Saints: movement III." Nonetheless, Parker and associates produce music that is meaningful and inspiring. They kick some major tail as some might say, but while doing so, it's irrefutably evident that there's a lot going on under the hood, when considering the intricately designed moving parts.

Track Listing: Kobra Kai Dance Remix; Hopped.Up.Pop; Hermit The Dog; Sendoff For Sendak; Piwo i Bona; All Saints: movement i; All Saints: movement ii; All Saints: movement iii.

Personnel: Mike Parker: bass; Dawid Fortuna: drums; Bartek Prucnal: alto saxophone; Slawek Pezda: tenor saxophone; Cyprian Baszynski: trumpet.

Title: Embrace The Wild | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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