Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Bradley Parker-Sparrow: The New World

222

Bradley Parker-Sparrow: The New World

By

Sign in to view read count
Bradley Parker-Sparrow: The New World
It's possible that this improvised session was months in the making, as emails and telephone calls were made and returned to discuss the theme of pianist Bradley Parker-Sparrow's The New World. But, then again with improvisers of this quality this concept album might just as remarkably been laid down with a with a few nods, winks, and hand gestures.

The first nine of eleven tracks coalesce into the theme inspired by Antonín Dvořák's 1893 "New World Symphony," inspired by the Czech composer's trip to America and his discovery of Native-American and African-American musics. Here, Parker-Sparrow expands the 21st century New World to include the influence of South America and Asia on American music-making. Assembled are Asian-American saxophonist Francis Wong and bassist Tatsu Aoki, Brazilian-born percussionist Dedé Sampaio, and jazz vocalist Joanie Pallotto, who was also the recording engineer.

What begins with a very simple bowed introduction unfolds gently into a graceful landscape, each artist caring for his sound, be it Aoki's shamisen (3-string lute), Sampaio's Brazilian musical bow, Wong's shinobue (bamboo flute) or Parker-Sparrow's piano harp, harmonica, and calimba. The theme here is cross-cultural music making; not "this-is-good-for-you" medicine, but that of like-minded kindred spirits creating from the same page.

The music breaks into some inspired combinations. Pallotto's wordless vocals accent the swinging beats of Sampaio, while Aoki lays down the heavy groove on "Pinwheel." "Skip Hop" begins at Miles Davis/Gil Evans' Sketches Of Spain (Columbia, 1960), with both Sampao and Parker-Sparrow dancing notes behind Wong's John Coltrane-inspired tenor before the piece turns introspective. The emotional shift via the Parker-Sparrow's sensitive touch signals a melancholy end by the players.

Parker-Sparrow's playing can be as light as a feather and come as thunder, as heard on "Secret Code," his duet with Wong. The final two tracks, one a spoken piece and Parker-Sparrow's studio-programmed "Kanye OK, OK (She Wants A Jazz Man)" are Gil Scott-Heron-inspired rap lessons for the next generation of stars that know nothing of their roots. Maybe Kanye West should start his schooling right here.

Track Listing

Overture: The New World; The New World; Pinwheel; Walk With Me; Tico's Lust; Secret Code; Skip Hop; Every Day; Finale: The New World; Essay On Black Noise; Kanye OK, OK (She Wants A Jazz Man).

Personnel

Bradley Parker-Sparrow: piano, percussion, harmonica, vocals; Francis Wong: tenor saxophone, shinobue, flute; Tatsu Aoki: acoustic bass, electric bass, shamisen; Dedé Sampaio: percussion, berimeau; Joanie Pallatto: vocals, trap drums, percussion; Magic (the dog): one long bark.

Album information

Title: The New World | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Asian Improv Records


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Mad Dream
Sued / Nandayapa / Bergmann / Saunders
8 Concepts of Tango
Hakon Skogstad
Evolver
Bruno Raberg Tentet

Popular

The Seagull's Serenade
Dominik Schürmann
Heartland Radio
Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.