4

Mariah Parker Indo Latin Jazz: Live in Concert

David Becker By

Sign in to view read count
Traditional Indian music, various Latin styles and contemporary jazz have negotiated an unlikely but productive friendship in the Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble, a periodically convened combo of top Northern California jazz and world music players led by pianist Mariah Parker.

She reunites the unit for Live in Concert (Ancient Future.com Records, 2017), a collection of smartly imagined original tunes that touch on range of cultural influences but never push connections. You'd expect nothing less from a cast a master musicians whose credits range from Wynton Marsalis to Sun Ra to Bolivian pan flute maestro Gonzalo Vargas.

The cultural mix changes from song to song and often within the song. Reeds master Paul McCandless starts the opening track, "Affinity Minus One," with a passage that lightly but firmly references Indian classical music before shifting into a more Coltrane-y mood later in the song. Both cohabitate nicely with a moderately paced, not-too-spicy samba beat. Guitarist Matthew Montfort similarly does a brilliant sitar imitation at the start "Close Passage" before dialing back to a more natural timbre.

Some songs barely rack up frequent flyer miles at all. "For the Waters" and "Torredembarra'' are both well-constructed contemporary jazz tunes firmly rooted in North America, the former highlighted by a dreamy, evocative piano mediatiation by Parker. The band takes a harder turn into Latin territory with "Jaguar Dance,'' highlighted by Parker's energetic chording and percussionist Brian Rice's tasty rhythmic concoctions.

The group makes its boldest cross-cultural stand with "Sangria," which combines McCandless's Indian-flavored musings on oboe and bass clarinet, yet more of Montfort's sitar evocations and Rice variously suggesting flamenco and salsa with his percussive flourishes. Plus Parker playing the santur, a dulcimer of Persian origins. On paper, it looks like a recipe for disaster, but the musicians pull it off with aplomb.

So who cares if the zeitgeist is turning to xenophobia and isolationism—viva multiculturalism!

Track Listing: Affinity Minus One; Close Passage; For the Waters; Torredembarra; Song for Satie; Sangria; Jaguar Dance; Milo's Moment.

Personnel: Mariah Parker: piano, santur; Paul McCandless: reeds; Matthew Montfort: guitar; Kash Killion: bass, cello; Ian Dogole: percussion; Brian Rice: percussion; Duru Demetrius: percussion; Debopriyo Sarkar: tablas; Fred Randolph: bass.

Title: Live in Concert | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Ancient-Future.com Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "3rio" CD/LP/Track Review 3rio
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "So Cute, So Bad" CD/LP/Track Review So Cute, So Bad
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Prototype" CD/LP/Track Review Prototype
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Grace
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Anthology - Bigger Than Life" CD/LP/Track Review Anthology - Bigger Than Life
by Doug Collette
Published: December 24, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.