Big time fans of Chicago five-piece Tortoise will instantly identify Jeff Parker as their guitarist, and while Parker has spent the vast majority of his career within that carapace, he’s also flexed his multi-instrumental jazz skills alongside Joshua Redman, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chicago Underground Trio, Rob Mazurek, and of course, his own solo work. Parker’s thorough embodiment of music from decades past, coupled with his lack of fear when it comes to experimenting with new sounds, have continued to make Parker a standout composer in an unending realm of countless jazz acts.
And now joined by The New Breed, the ten-piece backing band named after Parker’s 2016 LP, Jeff Parker is about to release one of his boldest records yet. Where The New Breed served as a tribute to Parker’s late father, the upcoming Suite for Max Brown and its eleven tracks (nine original – two interpretations) are dedicated to his mother, Maxine, who’s thankfully still around to appreciate it. Parker performed the majority of instruments and self-engineered most of Suite for Max Brown, out on Friday – and before you fall in love with a new set of standards that blur between abstract and machine-driven, toss some shades on and slide on over your hump day with “Go Away”!
Photo: Jim Newberry