Friday, May 04, 2012

Jeff Parker Trio Shines a Bright Light in Winter

Chicago guitarist Jeff Parker has certainly built quite a career working with the likes of Fred Anderson, Nicole Mitchell, Joshua Redman, the Brian Blade Fellowship, Ken Vandermark, George Lewis, Nels Cline, Matana Roberts and Ernest Dawkins. Delmark has issued the third release by his trio of bassist Chris Lopes and drummer, Bright Light in Winter. Both Parker and Lopes also make use of a synthesizer and Lopes also plays flute here. It is comprised of nine originals by the three that display a contemporary and open-ended approach to improvisation and group interplay.

Taylor’s Mainz opens this recording with the Parker stating the theme over the ostinato laid down by the Lopes and Taylor. Parker adds guitar effects to add to the tonal color as well as displays a spare attack that allows his notes and chords to linger. Lopes Swept Out To Sea has a more syncopated feel while sounding like a duet between Parker and Taylor that exhibits empathic interplay between them.

Parker’s Change sounds a bit more abstract as the bass anchors Parker’s soft chords set against Taylor’s steady clock-like rhythms before he shifts the performances tenor as he constructs a very imaginative, thoughtful solo with some nimble single note explorations.Taylor adds a funky underpinning for Parker original Freakadelic, which like the rest of the album, surprises with how the performance unfolds. Lopes’ flute is heard on The Morning of the 5th, on which Parker adds support and counterpoint with his backing as Taylor adds his embellishments with some brushes on the cymbals.

The engineering of this is excellent resulting in a lively sound in which the nuances of the music are captured. Bright Light in the Winter is an excellent recording that will reward those those who spend time to listen to the music herein.

Delmark records sent me a review copy. Here is Jeff Parker and Cad Lopes with a different drummer.

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