Label M Signs Percussion Master Leon Parker


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New York, NY - Label M / PDSE Music Group announce the signing of Leon Parker, one of the most dynamic percussionists in music today. Though often deemed a jazz artist, Parker goes far beyond the traditional boundaries of jazz to incorporate a panoply of styles and influences in his work. His debut album for Label M, scheduled for release in Spring 2001, reunites the percussion master with producer Joel Dorn, who produced Parker's first two records.

“Leon Parker is not only a brilliant musician, he's an original. There are very few originals these days," states Dorn. “It's an honor to have him with us."

“It's almost as if I'm getting a brand new start," says Parker. “The music is flowing and everyone involved is working together as a unit. I'm having the most fun I've ever had in my career making this record."

In addition to three previous albums as a leader and a co-led date with Charlie Hunter, Parker's among the most in-demand percussionists in the business, contributing to albums by James Carter, David Sanchez and Tom Harrell and touring with Jacky Terrasson and Dewey Redman.

The as-yet-untitled forthcoming album is Leon Parker's most ambitious work to date, combining performances captured on the streets of New York City with “live" and studio recordings. Guest artists involved in the project include longtime Parker bassist Ugonna Okegwo, saxophonists Sam Newsome and Steve Wilson and a host of percussionists, while vocalist Elizabeth Kontonmanou is featured throughout the recording.

Parker delves deep into a vast spectrum of exotic rhythms, including Middle Eastern, Afro-Cuban and vocal body percussion. Songs will include versions of the Duke Ellington classic “Caravan" and Thelonious Monk's “Green Chimneys," along with original compositions “Fast Life," “Theme" and “Frame Drum."

“The music exists on three planes and the magic of the record is how the three planes come together," concludes Dorn.

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