The Parker Abbott Trio manage to push improvisational music to a new level. An ethereal wonderland of sound and texture.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Jazz is at best an outmoded umbrella term that allows the music industry to neatly label and classify an artist for consumer ease. The Parker Abbott Trio and The Wayfinders push the music forward and while that sounds incredible cliché, their music is far from ordinary. Essentially a piano duo with drums and percussion, there is an ambient quality of floating harmonics. An organic pulse that moves within influences of classical, pop, and of course more traditional improvisational music. Not the run of the mill acoustic piano ensemble as organs, synthesizers and melodica add to a vibrant color palette of sound to create a three dimensional sonic depth of field. Color you can hear.
The opening "Nature Speaks" is an odd metered gem pulling from an initial classical opening and gliding effortlessly into an almost psychedelic pop flavored Beatles mash up. Bookending nicely is the minor key and slightly more dialed down "With Robots We Live Forever." The avant garde approach is never so ostentatious as to force the listener into the melodic abysses. The closer "Big On Bloor" has distinct Oscar Peterson like overtones but with a more contemporary Bob James feel.
The Parker Abbott Trio are indeed finding their way and in doing so they are taking improvisational music into new areas of exploration. Sure, there are one or two groups that come to mind that are vaguely similar but Parker Abbott has the certain X factor of accessibility that others lack while remaining right on the cutting edge. A deceptively subtle release of elegance and sophistication for the next generation.
Tracks: Nature Speaks; With Robots We Live Forever; Coral Castle; Elk Crossing; Companions; Circus Piece; Two Three Waltz; Waterfalls and Unicorns; Dance Party; The Way Finders; Big on Bloor.
Personnel: Terri Parker: Piano; Rhodes, Nord Electro, MicroKorg, Microsampler, Melodica; Simeon Abbott: Piano, Hammond B-3, Wurlitzer, Nord Electro, MicroKorg, Microsampler; Mark Segger: Drums and Percussion.