Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

431

Artie Roth: Parallels

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Parallels, a collection of original compositions by bassist/leader/arranger Artie Roth, is another entry from the sizzling Canadian jazz scene. The quintet's front line of John MacLeod (flugelhorn) and Kelly Jefferson (tenor and soprano saxophones) receives support from the seemingly ubiquitous David Braid (piano), familiar from Set In Stone, Vivid, Beginnings and William Carn's Other Stories. Musicians who get to know one another tend to play with each other—MacLeod is in Braid's band, Jefferson is on Carn's record, and both end up here. From the first moments of Parallels, however, Kevin Dempsey's positively crackling drums set the tone and absolutely drive the record, supported by Roth himself as the rhythm section.

The eight tracks range from seven to twelve minutes, averaging nine; the musicians have a lot of time to build a solo as the arrangements allow each track to evolve. But the record just flies by, grabbing you for the trip and never letting go. Roth's compositions, which are squarely mainstream, nevertheless are never predictable in structure, taking many twists and turns as they progress. "Rhyme and Reason" blasts out of the gate, propelled by Dempsey (and Roth), taking a standard unison head intro and leading to intertwined trumpet and sax lines, but then both Roth and Dempsey take solos that are so fine, it's a shame they have to end. The bar is set quite high at the start, but the record never wanes.

Not that every track has such high energy—each one has its own internal logic, and nary a moment of flab. Even "Mountain," the longest track, which feels like an atmospheric, ECM-ish entry, complete with an intro of arrhythmic percussion, piano string plucking and arco sliding notes, keeps moving forward, maintaining interest. Like its title, the track has grandeur and a feeling of large, open space about it.

Despite the fact that Parallels offers a lot of solo room, the record does not have the feel of a blowing session or a soloing vehicle. This is where Roth's arranging skills shine, along with his bandmates' sensitivity. Everyone does get to move to the front, yet it all seems so seamless that each track's solos feel like inevitable and natural responses to where the tune is at the moment. Thus it is the band that makes the impression, rather than the individuals in it. Dempsey stands out only because he's almost always present, tastefully and forcefully moving the music along.

Parallels is a very full-bodied record with a lot going for it. Roth has shown himself to be a formidable player and composer who allows and gets his fellow bandmembers to shine. Recommended.

Track Listing: Rhyme and Reason; Gone...But Not Missed; Memories Remain; Imprint; Mountain; Parallels; For Ages; Orwell's Warning.

Personnel: John MacLeod: flugelhorn; Kelly Jefferson: tenor, soprano saxophone; David Braid: piano; Artie Roth: bass; Kevin Dempsey: drums.

Title: Parallels | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Discern

Discern

Self Produced
2016

buy
Parallels

Parallels

Self Produced
2006

buy
Date Detail Price
Jan12Sat
7:30 pm
Christopher Simmons Trio
The Home Smith Bar
Toronto, Canada
$20

Related Articles

Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Down a Rabbit Hole CD/LP/Track Review
Down a Rabbit Hole
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Trioliloquy CD/LP/Track Review
Trioliloquy
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Perspectives II CD/LP/Track Review
Perspectives II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Red CD/LP/Track Review
Red
by Nick Catalano
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read "Accelerated Projection" CD/LP/Track Review Accelerated Projection
by John Sharpe
Published: May 10, 2018
Read "Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)" CD/LP/Track Review Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)
by Barry Witherden
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "From Beyond" CD/LP/Track Review From Beyond
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 7, 2018
Read "Locked & Loaded" CD/LP/Track Review Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)" CD/LP/Track Review Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "The Space" CD/LP/Track Review The Space
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 5, 2018