From 2016: Slight Freedom, Jeff Parker's first ever solo record, presents the first opportunity to hear the guitarist in fully self-revealed circumstances. Recorded in 2013 and '14 in the Hollywood Hills as he relocated from Chicago to Los Angeles, Parker combines the dark tonal palette and percussive attack he's long been known for with real-time processing elements and field recordings, deftly crafting a unique world of solo guitar music — multilingual, mysterious, alive with extraordinary sonic events, with a sturdy intelligence in charge and a raw homestyle vibe.
Parker's title composition sets the album's cavernous mood. Terse lines and 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 and 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 and concepts to the 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.
It's not jazz, it's not ambient, it's not noise; it's something more idiosyncratic and more personal, something only Parker could have come up with. Perhaps this is what Slight Freedom is supposed to mean: Not an anarchic exploding of rules, not the total liberation proposed by free jazz, but a steadier, stealthier path — dissolving boundaries, softening constraints, and wearing away at the edges of things until the ideas run as freely as water.
The discoveries are small in Slight Freedom — the slow percussive fade of the title track into a barely-there drone, the melody of Frank Ocean's 'Super Rich Kids' given a Jim Hall-like tentativeness, the inverted and invented self-accompaniment of 'Mainz' and Billy Strayhorn's 'Lush Life' paired down to lonely tremolo and feedback. One of 2016's most unassuming revelations in guitar music.
- 2022 Repress
- Second Edition of 1,399 Copies
- Premium 120g Audiophile-Quality Vinyl
- Recorded Live in Real-Time, No Overdubs
- Lacquers Cut at Sterling Sound by Steve Fallone
- Pressed at RTI
- Retro Flipback Jacket
|Jeff Parker||electric guitar, effects, samplers|
- Slight Freedom
- Super Rich Kids
- Lush Life