Born: June 3, 1953 Primary Instrument: Piano
Robert Parker's Blurbs About me: Musician since age of 7. For me, music is a magic that has always been and will always be. To play is always a question of when, not if. I hear it when there is nothing going on. I feel beats during any moment of silence. I am blessed with a decent means to express some of what I hear. These days, I play piano primarily for my own enjoyment, although people pay me quite well to enjoy what it is that I MUST do. At times, I have tried to abandon my Art like a deadbeat Dad, but it doesn't last. Forever blessed with the curse of the I've-got-to-play.
I have been a Session player(Country records and commercials), Studio Owner, Arranger (strings, vocals, horns) and engineer, in the mid-west, Country TV show picker, In 1979, I co-produced a Billboard to 100 Records Country Single (Don't Say No to Me Tonight).
Jazz Bass in High School, Classical Bass and Bass Horn in College. Gave up bass and returned to piano and organ primarily. Some occasional fusion stuff in the eclectic Iowa band; Midwest Express in mid 70's, (later to be renamed Dartanyan) We played some fusion stuff and R&B originals, put out an Album called Dartanyan (I'm told it still sells in Japan although I don't have a copy). It has a recording of a Bossa type tune I penned in Junior High called Beyond Touch if you happen to find it. Moved to the Ozarks to follow a career in Country Music (producing, recording, session work). Eventually I left and moved to Minneapolis where I met through my ex, the generous Peterson (Ricky plays with David Sanborn) family.
In 1982, I headed out to California to play with the original drummer from the Midwest Express (John G), in a Cover (jazz fusion) band in California, Purl. A talented group of players with marginal business acumen, but one of the funnest times I had had to date in life. Two members went on to play with Johnny Rotten Lyden (Bret) of Sex Pistols fame, and Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck(Jennifer Batten). Needless to say, the eventual path was that we all drifted other directions. I moved to LA and joined up with another new pal(Stan Jackson who has become the same as family) to jam and write for fun, but we later formed Jackson Blue out of Los Angeles with another talented younger writer (Stan Demand), having some radio airplay in I'm told 13 States (Life's Beat).
I keep the website going because I love the results of that collaboration (http://jacksonblue.com), we still have some fans and I like to remember that magic did happen.
While living in Hollywood, I tried my hand at scoring and completed a Discovery Channel Episode on Dinosaurs.
Some years later, on to discover through a dear friend, (Wolf Marshall) a path back towards a musical voice I didn't know was there within; jazz piano improvisation in a more traditional vein. Thanks to Wolf's gentle encouragement and persistent friendship, I now believe I will actually get a solo CD done and that I'd actually want to do it. Had the material for years to do a couple.
Who I'd like to meet or would have liked to have met:
Jimmy Smith (deceased), because his fierce approach to what I considered a fairly passive instrument, gave me the energy to haul my Hammond B around during my mid to late teens without blinking. I almost left the piano for good. Bucket list, failed. Never heard him in person.
Ramsey Lewis, because he pulled me back towards the piano as a graceful, classy and soulful method to work it all out. Bucket list, done - saw him live a year ago.
Glenn Gould(deceased), because I would thank him for finding a way to introduce Bach into my life in a manner that made me feel as if it was MY discovery and mine alone. That same year, Richard Nixon resigned and I recorded it on reel to reel, then put Glenn back on. He made be believe the composer must still be alive and composed it that day. Crazy. Bucket list, definitely missed. As close as I can get is 30 short films...or was it 32?
James Taylor, because his music has been a recurring soundtrack in this life I believe since I was 17, maybe younger. I am grateful that if we never meet, he actually was around during my lifetime. A live concert was on the Bucket List, now, I've seen two live concerts.