Richard X Bennett and Matt Parker's latest album, "Parker Plays X" is set to release on May 5th by BYNK Records. The two showcase their all-encompassing musical visions by co-leading a session for the first time, exploring a dozen compositions that range from straight-ahead bebop to avant-garde freakouts to classic jump blues. Bennett is inclined toward music with a groove while Parker prefers free jazz's boundless experimentation, making their merger a unique experience where they assimilate each other's sensibilities.
Both musicians adapt themselves to each other's aesthetic, with Parker adding momentum to the already rollicking jump blues "Belly First" and Bennett harnessing some of Parker's "wild" side to his own ends in premeditated compositions. The rhythm players, bassist Adam Armstrong and drummer Julian Edmond, bring crucial shape and dimension to the tunes. Their paths to jazz were different, but both have built their careers as wide-ranging improvising musicians with omnivorous musical appetites, refusing to be restrained by convention.
Matt Parker is a tenor and soprano saxophone player, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After seeing trumpeter Maynard Ferguson in concert, he fell in love with jazz and was mentored by the legendary South Florida saxophonist Jimmy Cavallo. Parker played professionally as a teenager in New Orleans before moving to New York to study with Jane Ira Bloom, Barry Harris, and Junior Mance. Later, Parker would go on to play in Maynard's band Big Bop Nouveau for two years and is on the album “MF Horn VI: Live At Ronnie's” (2006).
Parker's career has been wildly eclectic, showcasing his tireless explorative spirit and chameleon-like style. He has paid tribute to both avant-garde players and straight-ahead stalwarts on his albums “Worlds Put Together” (2014) and “Present Time” (2016), and has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including Reggie Watkins, Ariana Grande, Orrin Evans, Hess is More, and the Mingus Big Band. He is also a member of the viral ensemble Postmodern Jukebox and has made appearances (both musical and on-screen) in the hit action film “John Wick.” The Dorrance Dance company features Parker in “45th and 8th” premiering nationally (2022-23). He is also a featured performer with comedian, and renowned entertainer Murray Hill and Bridget Everrett (“Somebody, Somewhere”). Parker's experience with the Cape Town Youth Choir, where he learned the importance of blending and the beauty of collaboration, has had a profound impact on his music.
Charles Mingus' previously unrecorded “Song To Keki” makes its first appearance on Parker's album, which the Ottawa Citizen called "a warmly swinging showcase for his breathy, Ben Webster-esque flow." The same publication noted that Parker's playing on the tune builds momentum until his tenor seems like it will come apart in his hands. The Ottawa Citizen also described the album as having an overall compositional and improvisational contrast that catches the listener by surprise.Read more
- Worlds Put Together by Mark Corroto
- Worlds Put Together by Hrayr Attarian
- Present Time by Karl Ackermann
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“Parker is restlessly inventive” says DownBeat Magazine “A warmly swinging showcase for his breathy, Ben Webster-esque flow,” said Time Out New York. “It’s time to make the acquaintance of this rising star” effused Something Else Reviews. “Parker succeeds admirably in demonstrating an abiding reverence for jazz’s heritage without being overly shackled by its conventions”. said Hot House “Parker can’t be pigeonholed into just one tradition. … The saxophonist sounds comfortable promenading down multiple paths.” — All About Jazz "Something fresh is afoot on tenor saxophonist Matt Parker’s impressive debut, Worlds Put Together .… This promising debut makes him an album-maker to keep tabs on." —Josef Woodard, DownBeat **** Album of the Year: "Even given the expanded definition of what is “real” jazz, Worlds Put Together often comes right up to my imaginary fence that separates this music from the avant-garde
2 years 100 school ranging from middle schools to colleges while working with Maynard Ferguson
Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson
Parker Plays X
Worlds Put Together