Tag Archives: twitjazznet
Vocalist Gretchen Parlato is music personified — from her heart, through concept, composition and performance, all the way to your heart and mine. All you have to do to experience this enchanting continuum is listen.
She’s not just a singer. Gretchen Parlato is a consummate musician and collaborator whose primary instrument just happens to be her ethereal, entrancing voice. The words she sings are important, especially so for the songs she’s written herself, but these words are just part of the way she expresses emotion with her instrument. Listening to her is like being deeply moved by some master of some other instrument, maybe an alto sax, and realizing that, yeah, there are beautifully phrased WORDS in there, too, words with deep meaning in their own right. Her impact as a musician transcends mere words, transcends categorization.
Check out the hypnotic “Better Than,” from Gretchen Parlato’s latest stop on her musical journey, The Lost and Found (ObliqSound). She’s one with her fellow musicians and her melody, with and without lyrics. Give Gretchen Parlato a listen and you’ll become part of this beautiful fusion. As a music lover you can’t do better than that.
On “Better Than” from The Lost and Found:
Some days back, after I blipped Grant Green’s classic “Idle Moments,” Jason Parker (@1WorkinMusician) let me know his Seattle-based quartet had recorded its own version of this timeless masterpiece on their second full-length CD No More, No Less.
Parker is a busy player on Seattle’s thriving jazz scene, and his blog posts and tweets about making a living as a full-time musician and bandleader have a healthy following. I was definitely curious: would The Jason Parker Quartet’s version of “Idle Moments” stand up to a comparison of the original?
Oh, yeah. The quartet — Parker on trumpet, Josh Rawlings on piano, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass, D’Vonne Lewis on drums, and special guest Cynthia Mullis on tenor sax — keeps the original’s languidly slow,
no- need-to-be-in-a-hurry pace, and Parker, Mullis, and Rawlings solo beautifully over those classic changes. Everyone’s ears are open and I especially enjoyed listening to Mullis jump off the riffs Rawlings served up during her solo. Nice, very nice. The Jason Parker Quartet gives a respectful nod to the past while making “Idle Moments” its very own.
Check out The Jason Parker Quartet’s “Idle Moments”:
And here’s Grant Green’s original, full-length version:
The Jason Parker Quartet as recorded on No More, No Less: