JWQ Showcase 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

USA: Parks/Street/Hart -The Way (ECM 2017)

For the second ECM album by Aaron Parks following the solo release Aborescence, which JazzTimes praised as expansive, impressionistic... like a vision quest the prize-winning pianist has convened a cross-generational trio featuring bassist Ben Street and drummer Billy Hart. The rhythm pair, which also teams in Hart's hit quartet for ECM, blends fluidity and strength what Parks calls an oceanic quality, producing waves of energy for the pianist to alternately ride and dive into. Find the Way has the aura of a piano-trio recording in the classic mold, from melody-rich opener Adrift to the closing title track, a cover of a romantic tune Parks grew to love on an LP by Rosemary Clooney and Nelson Riddle. Always concerned with balancing the masculine and feminine impulses in music, Parks also drew inspiration for this album from the likes of Alice Coltrane and Shirley Horn (for whom Hart played); space and subtlety are a priority, with the pianist aiming to allow the music to breathe and be.