Aaron Parks: Progressive Jazz Piano

Aaron Parks has played piano on the last three Terence Blanchard recordings. I’m a big fan of those and the have made certain that the band was mentioned as an integral aspect of them. Now Mr. Parks has his chance to shine with Invisible Cinema, his debut on Blue Note Records. The Boston Globe says “…this is a different sort of piano jazz record… Everything is in this mix: classical influence, bop-based grooves, rock attitude, film-score drama, and hip-hop textures…” I have a press release titled “Jazz Meets Indie Rock on Aaron Park’s Blue Note Debut” and that sounds right. You can judge for yourself: AOL Spinner will be hosting a Listening Party featuring full-album streaming of Invisible Cinema the week of release starting Monday.

For more on Aaron Parks, check him out on MySpace.

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Review: Tom Scott – Cannon Re-Loaded

Always a fan of Tom Scott’s, I’ve been waiting for this release for a while. Although when his name is mentioned, most contemporary jazz fans think of Tom Scott’s releases such as LA Express, New York Connection, Apple Juice, or any number of the outstanding recordings he did while on GRP. But there were two, now with this release, three recordings where that unmistakable saxophone voice can be heard in a more traditional (notice I didn’t say straight-ahead) setting; 1992’s Born Again, BeBop United from 1996 and now, Cannon Re-Loaded. Joining Scott on this collection of tunes associated with the late great Cannonball Adderley are Terence Blanchard, George Duke, Marcus Miller, Steve Gadd, and Nancy Wilson. This is a pretty straightforward tribute. The players all sound very relaxed and the arrangements are excellent. It’s encouraging to see Tom Scott on the new release list and I give kudos to Concord for ‘carrying the torch’ while the ‘majors’ have burned their houses down to the ground. One last note, it’s nice to hear Terence Blanchard in a more contemporary setting. Here’s hoping he steps into the genre a bit more.

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