Somebody once asked me to find two words that describe the music I make, and the words I picked were ‘spontaneous’ and ‘cinematic,’” says Aaron Parks. Having clarified the essence of his art, the pianist kept those two words closely in mind while conceiving and recording Invisible Cinema, his extraordinary debut for the Blue Note label. In its virtuosity and harmonic complexity, Invisible Cinema speaks to Parks’s immersion in jazz on the highest level, even as it references a wider world of contemporary music-making.
“The title has a lot of different meanings,” notes the 24- year-old Seattle native, who is currently based in Brooklyn. “For one thing, Invisible Cinema is what music is, in a sense. You can’t see it. But there’s all this drama between the musicians, all these stories that can be told. Also, I was thinking about actual cinema, and this album has a story line that I wouldn’t spell out to anybody, because I want to leave it open to interpretation. But for me there’s a narration in the sequence and song titles and everything.”
Parks came to the attention of Blue Note during his five- year tenure with Terence Blanchard, during which he appeared on three of the trumpeter’s acclaimed Blue Note albums: Bounce, Flow and A Tale of God’s Will. Parks is now delighted to follow the example of another Blanchard alum, Lionel Loueke, who debuted on Blue Note with the evocative album Karibu in March 2008. “I’m thrilled to be a part not only of the classic Blue Note legacy, but also the new legacy, which includes Terence, Lionel, Robert Glasper, Jason Moran, Cassandra Wilson and so many great artists,” Parks enthuses.