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ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: Helsinki 8.12.18

Read "Helsinki 8.12.18" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Chicago native Jonah Parzen-Johnson has music degrees from NYU and Manhattan School of Music, and the tutelage of the AACM in his background, but he keeps all that at arms-length. The Brooklyn resident continues to pursue his inimitable experimental music on Helsinki 8.12.18, his fourth solo album to feature baritone saxophone and electronics. The session was recorded at Helsinki's We Jazz Festival in December 2018. The set opens with a beautifully atmospheric “This Is How It Works," sounding ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: I Try To Remember Where I Come From

Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Originally from Chicago, baritone saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson calls Brooklyn, N.Y. home these days but absorbed the creative spirit resident in the Windy City's progressive jazz legacy early on his career, studying and performing with some of the best. For example, he learned a great deal under the tutelage of woodwinds master Mwata Bowden, who is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. With his fourth album as a leader and first for Clean Feed, the artist ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: I Try To Remember Where I Come From

Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Chicago native and Brooklyn resident Jonah Parzen-Johnson has strong links to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), having studied with that organization's Mwata Bowden. Parzen-Johnson--a co-leader of the Afro-beat ensemble, Zongo Junction--plays the baritone saxophone and analog synthesizers in each of his lofi solo outings, to date. His new album I Try To Remember Where I Come From furthers Parzen-Johnson's exploration of his genre-defying music.A creator of experimental music in a different vein, Parzen-Johnson had ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow

Read "Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow" reviewed by Dave Wayne

In the hands (and minds) of certain artists, self-imposed limitations can actually become fertile ground for creative work- arounds, new strategies, new ways of seeing and hearing things. Multi-instrumentalist Jonah Parzen-Johnson is one such artist. Parzen-Johnson plays baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer simultaneously and spontaneously. No overdubs or studio trickery. As you might imagine, his music is quite distinctive. After listening to Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow, I would say that what Parzen-Johnson is doing is attempting to merge ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow

Read "Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Hymn-like melodies, oscillating and quivering sounds, and a mixture of solemnity and adventurousness all inform the solo work of saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson. On Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow, Parzen-Johnson is all by his lonesome with his baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer, creating what could rightly be described as trance spirituals for the modern epoch or, in the words of the man himself, “lo-fi experimental folk music." Parzen-Johnson, a Chicago native who's now based in Brooklyn, was ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow

Read "Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The young baritone saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson, a Chicago native and Brooklyn resident, has an enviable musical pedigree. With music degrees from NYU and Manhattan School of Music, he also studied under Mwata Bowden, of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and a member of the eclectic (but long defunct) 8 Bold Souls. Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow is Parzen-Johnson's second release following Michiana (Primary Records, 2012)--both solo outings. Parzen-Johnson, while being strongly influenced ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Strange Solo Sounds: SK Kakraba and Jonah Parzen-Johnson

Read "Strange Solo Sounds: SK Kakraba and Jonah Parzen-Johnson" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Sounds are all around us. Some of them are so familiar that we barely recognize them. Music is a special kind of sound. It puts us in touch with the world or provides an escape from it. Sometimes, music is even able to conjure a world of sound that is hard to imagine. It can be done through artistic manipulation with an already known instrument or, perhaps, a strange instrument is introduced that is like seeing the world with a ...


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