Tenor and soprano saxophone virtuoso and visionary composer Matt Parker made a vivid impression with his 2013 debut recording, Worlds Put Together. “Restlessly inventive” (Down Beat), Parker is “a fully formed artist with his own unique voice [who] sounds comfortable promenading down multiple paths” (All About Jazz).
For his new recording Present Time, Parker pared down the sextet of Worlds to a powerhouse trio comprised of bassist Alan Hampton and drummer Reggie Quinerly, colleagues of his since all three were classmates at the New School nearly 20 years ago. Scheduled for release on February 12 by Parker’s BYNK label (“Because You Never Know”), the CD consists of seven Parker originals, one old standard, and a previously unrecorded tune by the late, great Charles Mingus. Vocalist Emily Braden is added on three tracks, and Jerome Jennings plays tambourine on another.
Few saxophonists have internalized so much of the instrument’s history in jazz as has Parker. In his playing, one hears echoes of Ben Webster’s gentle and brutish sides, Lester Young’s lyricism, Sonny Rollins’s unfettered imagination, Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s adventurousness, and the types of extended techniques associated with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler.
A Fort Lauderdale, Florida native, jazz saxophonist Matt Parker connects the stylistic dots between Lester Young and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. At the age of 17, Parker visited New Orleans for the first time where he was offered a job at The Gazebo Café in The French Quarter. He played 10 hours a day, 6 days a week during the summer of 1997. Al Hirt invited the young musician to sit in with him at his club on Bourbon street and he also had the privilege to meet and speak with Pete Fountain and the great Ellis Marsalis. Most recently, Parker traveled to South Africa where he performed with the Cape Town Youth Choir, appeared in the Blockbuster film John Wick starring Keanu Reeves and has played with The Mingus Big Band at The Jazz Standard in NYC