Jeff Parker: Forfolks Review – A Meditative Gem | Jazz


Bis known as the jazz guitarist in the influential Chicago post-rock band Tortoise, Parker, now based in LA, wears many berets: conductor, film composer, little-known collaborator. Parker’s third solo album for the International Anthem label is a meditative gem that breaks with the more robust style of his two previous releases.

The new breed (2016) commemorated Parker’s late father; last years Suite for Max Brown was dedicated to his mother, Maxine. This year Forfolks removes collaborators in favor of self-citing loops and minimal solo guitar – impressionistic daubings of notes playing in the space between jazz, ambient, and the daily practice of quietly sketching out a melody for oneself.

There are deconstructed versions of the standards My Ideal and Thelonious Monk’s Ugly Beauty here, both imbued with an inquisitive and unbeatable calm. The closing track, La Jetée, returns to Jetty by Tortoise (1998) and the iteration of Isotope 217 (1997). Moments after the start of a new track, the delicately arpeggiated Suffolk, Parker almost plays back TNT’s most famous Tortoise riff from 1998. The track, on the other hand, refers to the culturally rich part of the East. from Virginia where Parker was born – a region historically at the forefront of the anti-slavery struggle.


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