Critical Jazz

A funny thing happened on the way to the recording studio. Tenor saxophonist Matt Parker announces his presence with authority. The original game plan or so Parker thought would be a lyrically straight ahead record that highlights his keen sense of melody and intoxicating warm tone…Welcome to Worlds Put Together.

The best laid plans…

Somewhere along the way the more conventional was shown the door and Matt Parker dials up the intensity with a controlled fury that borders on a more free jazz vibe while still maintaining a surprising amount of accessibility for the average listener. Joining Parker we have another new shooter in Reggie Quinerly who is fresh off the heels of his debut release the critically acclaimed Music Inspired By Freedmantown. This somewhat conceptual riff on imaginary movies works well keeping in mind the musical formula of equal parts action and atmosphere.

“Eye of Rico” is drawn from Hurricane Andrew and the aftermath. Parker’s self directed style of play and passion that is guaranteed to set your hair on fire serves him well. Matt Parker does a remarkable deconstruction of “Darn That Dream” making this classic his own if only for a brief moment in time. “Full Sun” is a ten minute long excursion into the sonic unknown. The remainder of the tunes here are timing out at well under the five minute mark and remarkably similar to the old 78s from days when jazz was America’s popular music.

Like so many artists and individuals alike, Parker struggled to find his own voice. Often compared to Roland Kirk or Wayne Shorter, Parker attempted to move to the more bop oriented tip from artists such as Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster. Somewhere along the way and to our benefit, Parker found his musical happy place being the musical no mans land between bop and free jazz where freedom of expression is not hampered by conventional theory and dynamic new artists such as Matt Parker can flourish and hopefully inspire the next generation of talent as they move up on the jazz food chain.

Matt Parker may well be one of the most original and exciting tenor players to arrive on the scene in a decade. An inspiring performance!

4 Stars.