Aaron Parks

Invisible Cinema | Blue Note
By JON GARELICK  |  August 12, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars
0815_aaronINPianist Parks, 24, is just the latest younger jazz musician who’s informing his post-bop with contemporary pop. He likes the shape of pop tunes, their dynamics, their unfolding dramas. He names Radiohead as an influence, and sure enough, the insistent piano-chord tattoo of “Nemesis,” its four-square drumbeat, its slow-against-fast guitar line, its chord progressions, and the slowly building dynamic drama all scream Yorke & Co. The Middle Eastern scales of “Harvest Dance” suggest a bolero that builds to a “Kashmir”-like rave-up; the piano ballad “Afterglow” could be one of Randy Newman’s sweet diatonic ditties. Parks and his band fill these outer shapes with jazz detail. He and guitarist Mike Moreno take their time outlining the gentle folk theme of “Peaceful Warrior,” trading choruses before taking off into the jazzy-jazz middle section, which is up-tempo and full of eighth notes. Parks has fingers, too, as on the opening “Traveler,” where his sleek melody and driving single-note line come in over drummer Eric Harland’s drum ’n’ bass patter. With the help of Moreno, Harland, and bassist Matt Penman, Parks turns the sound of contemporary pop into real jazz — his own.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
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