Aaron Parks - Invisible Cinema (Blue Note, 2008)
Pianist Aaron Parks is a much-hyped young musician who came up playing with Terence Blanchard among others. The album, recorded with Matt Penman on bass, Eric Harland on drums, and Mike Moreno on guitar is very well played but has a cold and clinical lack of emotion that keeps me from developing an personal attachment to it, like the music is being dissected on a stainless steel operating table rather than a studio. As the name of this album suggests, Parks compositions seem like they are tailor made for film work, so it will be interesting to see if he gets a chance to do some film scoring. "Nemesis" is one of the finer performances on the album, with Parks dark and probing piano combining with some slippery guitar lines to produce a noirishly cinematic effect. "Riddle me This" has some fine rhythmic work that keeps it particularly interesting, but the solo piano performances "Into the Labyrinth" and "Afterglow" seem shallow and florid. There is some interesting music to be found here and I respect it, but I just wasn't able to get into the album as a whole. Your mileage may vary.
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