Like Lester Young, he creates music without typecasting it as "jazz." It's just that his enunciation, inflection and accent are dead giveaways that mark him as a jazzman.
Parker's music recalls the period of the late-1960s or early 70s when Eddie Harris or Rahsaan Roland Kirk might open a show for Santana or Cream; music wasn't ghettoized. Kirk's music comes to mind often here. He opens with the bawling, two-horn (Julio Monterrey on alto) "Eye Of Rico," a hurricane song that howls itself into the calm eye provided by pianist Jesse Elder. The pianist is a proper foil for Parker, as the pair co-lead The Candy Shop Boys, a burlesque, cabaret, vaudevillian act. The saxophonist has an appreciation for the irreverent. On "Alien Baby," he mixes bits of Albert Ayler's burning supplication against some Dick Dale-style guitar, via Josh Mease, then slinks home with the gentle twinkling of Elder's piano.
Parker can't be pigeonholed into just one tradition. Like Roy Nathanson's Jazz Passengers or John Lurie's Lounge Lizards, he regards this music as a pageant. That means fun. He plays in a duet with tap dancer Jimmy Sutherland on "WPT" and creates a circus sing-a-long waltz on "Zeynep's Piano" with a small cast of exuberant children. His one cover, "Darn that Dream," a duo with Monterrey, merely hints at the melody. The music here is more folk than metro. He adopts handclaps and percussion on an African inspired "Up And Down" and his "New Bossa" (played twice here) has the flexibility to be both a sentimental saunter or a sardonic sizzler. The saxophonist sounds comfortable promenading down multiple paths.
Eye Of Rico; I Can't Help It; Lists; WPT; New Bossa; Up And Down; Alien Baby; Darn That Dream; Full Sun; Zeynep's Piano; New Bossa (Reprise).
Matt Parker: tenor and soprano saxophones; Jesse Elder: piano (1-5, 7,9,11); Josh Mease: guitar (1-5, 7,9); Alan Hampton: bass (except 8,11); Reggie Quinerly: drums (except 8,11); Julio Monterrey: alto saxophone (1, 3-9); Mikkel Hess: drums (6); Jimmy "Taps" Sutherland:
tap dance (4); Zeynep, Noah, Bora, Ezra, Charney, Sharon, Shana Bromberg: vocals (10).
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.