Social media is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for musicians of all stripes to connect with their audience as well as get introduced to new artists. It was through twitter that I became connected to Seattle-based trumpeter Jason Parker. Parker has a blog, http://oneworkingmusician.com/, and he co-produces with trombonist David Marriott, Jr., “Jazz Now Seattle!,” a marvelous podcast devote to Seattle’s jazz scene, http://jazznowseattle.com/. Anyway after first connecting with him on twitter, I subscribed to his podcast and also purchased the 2009 CD by his quartet, “No More No Less” (Brokentime Records). His quartet is comprised Parker, Josh Rawlings on piano, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass, and DeVonne Lewis on drums with Cynthia Mullis on tenor sax on three of the seven selections.
Parker’s “” Bashert” introduces his lyrical and thoughtful playing but the remaining performances come from familiar names with some of the compositions though that are not too familiar.The performance of trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt’s “Mance’s Dance,” has a classic Blue Note vibe and suggests a lost Herbie Hancock composition. This fine performance, introduces the listener to Ms. Mullis’ tenor. Duke Pearson’s “Idle Moments,” is a quintet piece with both horns conjuring up a late night, don’t wake up the children mood, on this lovely performance. In addition to the fine playing of the leaders, pianist Rawlings is quite noteworthy here with a solo that builds from its understated opening. Parker’s playing on the quartet’s evocative rendition of “Three Hours,” by the late British icon Nick Drake, conjures up Don Cherry in my ears. First-rate performances of “Love For Sale,” and Sam Rivers‘ “Beatrice,” are followed by the marvelous interweaving of Gershwin’s “Summertime,” with Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” with Ms. Mullis adding her tenor sax, closing this recording most impressively.
Listening to “ No More No Less” (and the Jazz Now Seattle! podcast) may inspire visits to Seattle to attend some of the vibrant local jazz performances that Mr. Parker is a part of. “No More No Less” is available from http://oneworkingmusician.com, and one can purchase it as a physical CD (which includes a digital download) or just as a download. Jason’s next project will be “Five Leaves Left: A Jazz Tribute to Nick Drake,” which he raised funds for through the kickstarter website. For information on the project and how Nick Drake’s music inspires Parker check out, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonparker/nick-drake-tribute-jason-parker-quartet-five-leave.