Eremite Records MTE-65 LP
1. Slight Freedom
2. Super Rich Kids
2. Lush Life
recorded 2013 & 2014, Hollywood
producers: Parker & Michael Ehlers
engineers: Ehlers, Emmett Kelly, Griffin Rodriguez
photography: Mikel Avery
screenprinting: Alan Sherry
slight freedom, jeff parker’s first ever solo record, presents the first opportunity to hear the guitarist in fully self-revealed circumstances. recorded 2013 & ’14 in the hollywood hills as he relocated from chicago to los angeles, parker combines the dark tonal palette & percussive attack he’s long been known for with real-time processing elements & field recordings, deftly crafting a unique world of solo guitar music --multilingual, mysterious, alive with extraordinary sonic events, with a sturdy intelligence in charge & a raw homestyle vibe. the record is yet another defining moment for parker in 2016, a year that already includes a brilliant ensemble album (the new breed) & tortoise’s 25th anniversary tour & record (the catastrophist).
parker’s title composition sets the album’s cavernous mood. terse lines & ricocheting loops morph into a gnarly ambient section that resembles neil young droning out over a vg+ copy of discreet music. parker creates a different sort of ambient space in his take on frank ocean’s 'super rich kids,' bending the melody around a bossa nova rhythm into a moodsville tone poem. parker makes an extraordinary long-form statement out of chad taylor’s ‘mainz,’ a piece he first recorded with taylor & chris lopes on the album bright light in winter. twice the length of the trio recording, the multi-layered soliloquy finds parker leaping from the high rung to damn near orchestral heights, pushing his techniques & concepts to their breaking points. it’s one of the great solo performances you’ll hear from a musician this year. to say “lush life” comes with formidable baggage is an understatement. parker achieves instant classic status with a rendition that sounds beamed-in from a decommissioned satellite --burned out, covered in space grit, yet still formally nuanced & beautifully reflective of strayhorn’s world-weary lyrics.
twenty years into the game it’s a joy for eremite to present work by an artist who’s clearly taking his music to the next level.
mastered by helge sten at audio virus. pressed on premium HQ-180 gram vinyl by RTI & presented in a heavyweight stoughton ‘laserdisc’ sleeve. hand-pulled screenprinted labels, dust jackets & sleeve by alan sherry of siwa. edition of 850 LP copies, digital available thru i-tunes & E music.
pitchfork 8.0 review
new york times best albums 2016
NPR top ten solo guitar records of 2016
john mulvey's 'favourite albums 2016' at uncut
philip sherburne #6 album 2016
soundohm best of 2016
reckless records 2016 employee best of lists
magnet magazine best of 2016 jazz/improv