Lisa Parrott: Round Tripper

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Lisa Parrott: Round Tripper
In the vernacular, to "parrot" means to imitate or copy. In spite of her point-blank name, Lisa Parrott goes out of her way not to do that, whether on alto or baritone sax. Parrott's alto is lustrous and ripened, summoning at times the halcyon days of the Swing Era, while her baritone is barbed and heavy, evoking an occasional memory of the late Cecil Payne—but always without mimicry. Would that the musical perspective underlying Parrott's latest recording, Round Tripper, were as explicit or engaging. Instead, what is imparted is a series of generally modest songs and charts that for the most part dampen the group's best efforts to invest them with gravity and charm.

Parrott, whose stock in trade is resourceful improvisation, at least with her regular employer, the all-woman big band DIVA, shows all too little of that here, preferring instead to emphasize the group dynamic with drummer Matt Wilson, bassist Chris Lightcap and especially guitarist (and fellow Aussie) Carl Dewhurst. While there's nothing wrong with that, and the group does interact agreeably, it would have been a treat to hear Parrott in a more unrestrained (straight-shooting) habitat. Even when joined by DIVA sidekick Nadje Noordhuis, as she is on "Do You Think That I Do Not Know" and "Waltzing Matilda," Parrott seems to be playing well within her prescribed boundaries.

An exception is the buoyant "Um a Zero," on which Parrott salutes her musical forbears with phrases that are both singular and swinging. Bernie McGann's "D. Day," which follows, is another swinger on which Parrott and Dewhurst playfully spar to good advantage while Wilson and Lightcap design a colorful rhythmic tapestry. Parrott divides her time between alto ("Rosa Takes a Stand," "Dancing Laughing," Um a Zero," "D. Day," "Waltzing Matilda") and baritone ("Do You Think," "I Don't Know What," "Round Trip"). Noordhuis plays flugel on "Do You Think," trumpet on the traditional Australian folk song "Waltzing Matilda."

In sum, high marks for equilibrium and energy. A more than respectable quartet date that one suspects could have been even better had strategy and circumstances dictated.

Track Listing

Rosa Takes A Stand; Dancing Laughing; Do You Think That I Do Not Know; Um A Zero; D. Day; I Don't Know What; Round Trip; Waltzing Matilda.


Lisa Parrott: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone (3, 6, 7); Matt Wilson: drums; Chris Lightcap: double bass; Carl Dewhurst: guitar (1-6, 8); Nadje Noordhuis: trumpet (8), flugelhorn (3).

Album information

Title: Round Tripper | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Serious Niceness Records

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski
Tales From The Jacquard
Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra
Pamai Chirdkiatisak
Music Room 1985
Wayne Krantz


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.