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Reviewers: Tony Augarde, Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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  1. Winter Waltz

  2. Alcubierre's Law

  3. Bolivia

  4. I'm On Fire

  5. Elutheria

  6. Tit Er Jeg Glad

  7. A Rabbit's Tale

  8. Forever This Moment

  9. Shapes 'n' Colors

  10. You And The Night And The Music

    Aaron Parks - Piano

    Thomas FonnesbŠk - Bass

    Karsten Bagge - Drums

    Born in Seattle and still only 33, pianist Aaron Parks moved to New York City while in his teens, in the interests of his musical development. He has recorded some eight albums as a leader, the first of them in 1999. Latterly, he has made recordings for Blue Note (Invisible Cinema, 2008) and ECM ( Aboerescence, 2013 and Find The Way, 2017). He has also featured on discs by the James Farm, alongside Joshua Redman, and on three albums for Blue Note with Terence Blanchard. He can also be heard on several film soundtracks. This particular venture teams him up with two Danish musicians, both in their forties and well established on the European jazz scene. The actual recording was made in Denmark but was mixed and mastered in G÷teborg (Gothenberg), Sweden.

    The cover art is spare and bleak, the music anything but. Three tracks are outstanding. I'm On Fire is a Bruce Springsteen number on which Parks swings happily, with a distinct blues inflection. There is a bass solo from FonnesbŠk of real merit, too, on this catchy theme. The ballad, Tit Er Jeg Glad makes an impact from the opening notes. It's a lovely tune which permits Parks to muse splendidly. There is a sombre but beautiful bass solo. As for Forever This Moment, a further attractive melody is handled with finesse by the trio. I enjoyed the way a snatch of What Do You Get When You Fall In Love ? is skilfully interwoven by Parks at one point during the piece. There are plenty of other enjoyable moments elsewhere. For instance, A Rabbit's Tale, one of the tunes contributed by drummer Karsten Bagge, is a master class in creative interaction. Parks shows Brad Mehldau-like form. On Bolivia, one of Cedar Walton's best known compositions, FonnesbŠk is confirmed as a bassist with attitude. If you want to hear the delicate brushwork of the gifted Bagge, Winter Waltz provides that opportunity. Meanwhile, the engaging Alcubierre's Law builds up a head of steam in rhythmic and bluesy fashion while Parks' own composition, Elutheria, takes the listener on a voyage of discovery.

    This, then, is a group that clearly listens attentively to one another and from that relationship makes jazz of high quality together. In the light of Parks' immense promise, it is tempting to speak of the pianist as purely an emerging talent. If that definition holds water, we're in for some wonderful stuff in the coming years!

    James Poore


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