Monday, March 05, 2012

Jeff Parker - Bright Light in Winter (Delmark, 2012)

Jeff Parker is a resourceful guitarist and composer and a well regarded member of the Chicago jazz and improvised rock scene. This album is a tight and focused trio session that is well organized and thoughtfully performed. There are no pyrotechnics on this album, no guitar histrionics, but playing by and for the group that is continually delving back upon itself for inspiration coiling potential energy. The music is neatly played and well articulated, culminating in "Freakadelic" which builds in elements of funk and R&B developing something of an electric Miles Davis groove of an open ended nature. They concentrate on building the performance to an expansive and expressive peak. An interesting diversion in the album is a short interlude of music led by flute. This changes the dynamic of the album by introducing different texture and the effect is slightly jarring, moving away from the straight up guitar trio. The music is performed by a talented group that has a great deal of flexibility in their approach allowing them to be conversant in many different aspects of improvised music. They have a very perceptive view of music, drawing diverse threads together without judgement. This music is accomplished and accessible for many music fans to enjoy; particularly those of jazz and progressive rock. The musicians are generous with each other and the listener, proceeding in a wise and savvy manner that is always in the service of moving the music forward in a compassionate and selfless manner.

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