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Aaron Parks on Music, Mathematics and Making the Scene

Read "Aaron Parks on Music, Mathematics and Making the Scene" reviewed by Leo Sidran

How does pianist Aaron Parks describe himself? “A bit odd. I play piano, write songs, and take pictures of doors with my phone." Raised on a small island near Seattle, Washington, Aaron found himself hungry for more creative and intellectual stimulation than his immediate surroundings could offer. He enrolled in college at the age of 14, studying music, math and computer science. It wasn't long before he dropped the math and computer stuff and focused on music; he ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Little Big

Read "Little Big" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Pianist/composer Aaron Parks' recording career began when, at the impressionable age of eighteen, he signed on with Terrence Blanchard and recorded several noted albums with the trumpeter, most notably the soundtrack to Spike Lee's Invisible Man and Blanchard's own, Grammy winning A Tale of God's Will (Requiem for Katrina (Blue Note, 2007). In the creative interim there have been other recording ventures, including his highly regarded Blue Note Records debut, Invisible Cinema (2008), and his elemental solo excursion on ECM, ...

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Aaron Parks: Little Big

Read "Little Big" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The press release for highly praised keyboard/composer Aaron Parks's (Kurt Rosenwinke, Terence Blanchard) latest album states: “after experimenting with various lineups and sessions, Parks landed on three musicians ideally suited for this atmospheric, genre-bending new work." And after listening to this inspiring session it's easy to discern why Parks needed time and a bit of prudence to fulfil his personalized mission of original genre-hopping compositions, that gel to a synergistic group-focused vibe. Here, it seems that the artist has reached ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Little Big

Read "Little Big" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

After an absence from activity as a leader, pianist and composer, Aaron Parks reemerged in 2017 with a new trio formation, releasing the highly acclaimed Find The Way (ECM), which carried on the unique harmonic language found four years prior, on the solo Arborescence (ECM, 2013). Today's Little Big, however, comes much more in the vein of his major label debut, Invisible Cinema (Blue Note 2008). The modern approach of an electric band, slower harmonic progressions and more immediate melodic ...

INTERVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Rising To The Challenge

Read "Aaron Parks: Rising To The Challenge" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

"I'm always trying to put myself into scenarios with people who play in a way that challenges me and gives me a chance to grow," says pianist Aaron Parks, who has carved an impressive career in jazz since going to jny: New York City early in the new century and eventually garnering a major gig with trumpeter Terence Blanchard's band. The group's he's played in are nothing but challenging, as he serves music made by people like Kurt ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Parks/Ben Street/Billy Hart: Find the Way

Read "Find the Way" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Find the Way is pianist Aaron Parks' eighth release as a leader and second on the ECM label. The prolific artist has appeared as a sideman on thirty-eight albums dating back to 2003, working frequently with Terence Blanchard, recording with Joshua Redman and Kurt Rosenwinkel and many other top names in jazz. At the age of fourteen, Parks was studying music and computer science at the University of Washington and has gone on to win multiple awards including sharing a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Aaron Parks Group and Joel Ross at the SOUTH Jazz Kitchen

Read "Aaron Parks Group and Joel Ross at the SOUTH Jazz Kitchen" reviewed by Asher Wolf

Aaron Parks Group SOUTH Jazz Kitchen Philadelphia, PA May 4, 2016 I apologize in advance if the following descriptions come off as grandiose. But regarding the Aaron Parks Group, anything that doesn't walk the line of hyperbole feels like an undersell. They were one of the most exciting acts I've had the pleasure of witnessing, and I don't mean interesting or hope inspiring, but rather the type of excitement you feel after injecting ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Arborescence

Read "Arborescence" reviewed by John Kelman

Slowly but surely, over the past several years, ECM Records has forged relationships with some of New York City's most impressive musicians--no mean feat given that, despite the Big Apple no longer being the jazz mecca it once was, it certainly remains a lightning rod for some of the world's most creative musicians, ranging from trumpeter Ralph Alessi and saxophonists Tim Berne and Chris Potter, to pianists David Virelles, Jason Moran and Craig Taborn--all of whom have been represented, either ...

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Aaron Parks: Invisible Cinema

Read "Invisible Cinema" reviewed by Laurel Gross

While he only just passed his 24th birthday in October 2008, the gifted Aaron Parks has been appreciated by New Yorkers for quite some time. He's been paying his dues in local clubs for years and has distinguished himself further--enhancing his reputation as a pianist of excellence--as a former member of Terence Blanchard's notable Flow sextet, touring and playing on three Blanchard recordings for Blue Note, including the Grammy-winning A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007). He's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Invisible Cinema

Read "Invisible Cinema" reviewed by Chris May

Best known for his five-year tenure with trumpeter Terence Blanchard, pianist Aaron Parks is the second Blanchard graduate to debut under his own name on Blue Note in 2008. His disc follows percussionist Lionel Loueke's Karibu (Blue Note, 2008), a fitfully engaging album flawed by trying too hard. Invisible Cinema by contrast is a corker, a caveat-free fairground ride in forward-looking piano jazz winningly spiced with a little prog rock.

Parks played on three Blanchard albums--including the outstanding ...

PODCAST

Aaron Parks: Structured Freedom

Read "Aaron Parks: Structured Freedom" reviewed by Jason Crane

On the new episode of The Jazz Session, Jason Crane interviews pianist/composer Aaron Parks about his new album, Invisible Cinema (Blue Note, 2008). Parks is 24 years old--and he started college 11 years ago. A child prodigy who entered the University of Washington at age 13 as a triple major in math, computer science and music, Parks quickly found that music was his true calling. Now, after a five-year stint with trumpeter Terence Blanchard, Parks is set ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Invisible Cinema

Read "Invisible Cinema" reviewed by John Kelman

If ever there were a supporting case for the importance of mentoring in jazz, it would be Aaron Parks. The pianist began playing with trumpeter Terence Blanchard in 2003 at the age of 18 and, over the course of three albums culminating in last year's deeply moving A Tale of God's Will (Blue Note, 2007), has grown into a mature player whose early promise is already being realized. With inimitable technique and open ears, he seems to have bypassed the ...


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