Guitarist Jeff Parker’s Solo Album 'Forfolks' Out Now on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records

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Submitted by nonesuch on Fri, 12/10/2021 - 09:30
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Jeff Parker’s solo guitar album Forfolks is now available on vinyl and digitally on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records, with the CD out next week. The album includes interpretations of Thelonious Monk's “Ugly Beauty” and the standard “My Ideal,” plus six original compositions: two earlier tunes, “Four Folks” and “La Jetée,” and four new loop-driven, stratiform works that marry melodic improvisation with electronic textures. As Parker says: “I am trying to create a sonic world for me to wander around in.” Parker is co-headlining a US tour with Steve Gunn this month and next spring and will perform at NYC Winter JazzFest and Big Ears Festival.

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Jeff Parker’s Forfolks—a new album of solo guitar works—is available on vinyl and digitally today, with the CD to follow next week, via International Anthem and Nonesuch Records; you can get it and hear it here. The album includes interpretations of Thelonious Monk’s “Ugly Beauty” and the standard “My Ideal,” plus six original compositions including “Four Folks” (a tune first written by Parker in 1995) and “La Jetée” (a tune he previously recorded with Isotope 217 in 1997 and with Tortoise in 1998). The four totally new original compositions are loop-driven, stratiform works that marry melodic improvisation with electronic textures. As Parker says: “I am trying to create a sonic world for me to wander around in.” The album was recorded by Graeme Gibson at Sholo Studio in Altadena, California (aka Jeff’s house) over two days in June 2021. 

Parker began a US tour, in support of the album, last week. The tour, which he co-headlines with Steve Gunn, runs through the end of the year, making stops in Asheville, Baltimore, Cambridge, NYC, and more. Parker will also perform with Makaya McCraven at NYC Winter JazzFest in January and with his band, The New Breed, at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, in March 2022, leading into a run of spring dates with Gunn for shows in California (including three nights at Zebulon in Los Angeles), Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver. A complete list of dates is below.

“It's a particular thing to hear Jeff play solo,” writes veteran Chicago musician and longtime Parker collaborator Matthew Lux in his liner note for Forfolks. “He is an unusually selfless improviser, often times laying out and highlighting the contributions of his band mates. He's never been one to play three notes where none would suffice. On this recording, however, he is by himself, joined only by his own ideas, looped or frozen, to flesh out the music he's creating in his mind. Hearing him craft entire sound worlds on these eight selections gives us an opportunity to really see how Parker orders sound … He eschews genre playing and chooses a painterly approach to coloring the music, maintaining a deeply personal voice without weighing down the music with obvious stylistic maneuverings.”

The album follow’s Parker’s critically acclaimed 2020 record, Suite for Max Brown, which Pitchfork called an “effortlessly detailed album, full of tradition and experimentation that spans generations … It lives at the vanguard of new jazz music.” The album went on to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Current Contemporary Jazz Chart and No. 2 on the Contemporary Jazz Chart in the United States, with the Los Angeles Times calling it “a transcendent set of pieces that occupy a vague terrain lit by jazz, experimental electronic music, instrumental hip-hop and genre-jumping avant-rock ... Parker’s album ascends track by track with the majesty of a new-build high-rise transforming a skyline.”

Parker is known to many fans as the longtime guitarist for the Chicago–based quintet Tortoise, one of the most critically revered, sonically adventurous groups to emerge from the American indie scene of the early 1990s. The band’s often hypnotic, largely instrumental sound draws freely from rock, jazz, electronic, and avant-garde music, and it has garnered a large following over the course of nearly thirty years. Aside from recording and touring with Tortoise, Parker has worked as a side man with many jazz greats, including Nonesuch labelmate Joshua Redman on his 2005 Momentum album; as a studio collaborator with other composer-musicians, including Brian Blade, Meshell Ndegeocello, and fellow International Anthem artists Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek; and as a solo artist.

JEFF PARKER ON TOUR*

Dec 10 Grey Eagle Tavern Asheville, NC
Dec 11 Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC
Dec 12 Creative Alliance Baltimore, MD
Dec 14 The Sinclair Cambridge, MA
Dec 15 Gateway City Arts Holyoke, MA
Dec 16 Tubby's Kingston, NY
Dec 17 Ardmore Music Hall Ardmore, PA
Dec 18 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
     
Jan 19 NYC Winter JazzFest @ NuBlu New York, NY
     
Mar 25 Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN
     
Mar 29 Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown, CA
Mar 30 Casbah San Diego, CA
Mar 31–Apr 2 Zebulon Los Angeles, CA
Apr 4 The Guild Theatre Menlo Park, CA
Apr 5 The Chapel San Francisco, CA
Apr 6 Sebastiani Theatre Sonoma, CA
Apr 8 Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
Apr 9 Fawcett Hall at Alma Mater Tacoma, WA
Apr 10 St. James Hall Vancouver, BC
Apr 11 The Crocodile Seattle, WA
     

* all dates with Steve Gunn, except NYC Winter JazzFEst with Makaya McCraven and Big Ears Festival with The New Breed

featuredimage
Jeff Parker: 'Forfolks' [vinyl]
  • Friday, December 10, 2021
    Guitarist Jeff Parker’s Solo Album 'Forfolks' Out Now on International Anthem / Nonesuch Records

    Jeff Parker’s Forfolks—a new album of solo guitar works—is available on vinyl and digitally today, with the CD to follow next week, via International Anthem and Nonesuch Records; you can get it and hear it here. The album includes interpretations of Thelonious Monk’s “Ugly Beauty” and the standard “My Ideal,” plus six original compositions including “Four Folks” (a tune first written by Parker in 1995) and “La Jetée” (a tune he previously recorded with Isotope 217 in 1997 and with Tortoise in 1998). The four totally new original compositions are loop-driven, stratiform works that marry melodic improvisation with electronic textures. As Parker says: “I am trying to create a sonic world for me to wander around in.” The album was recorded by Graeme Gibson at Sholo Studio in Altadena, California (aka Jeff’s house) over two days in June 2021. 

    Parker began a US tour, in support of the album, last week. The tour, which he co-headlines with Steve Gunn, runs through the end of the year, making stops in Asheville, Baltimore, Cambridge, NYC, and more. Parker will also perform with Makaya McCraven at NYC Winter JazzFest in January and with his band, The New Breed, at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, in March 2022, leading into a run of spring dates with Gunn for shows in California (including three nights at Zebulon in Los Angeles), Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver. A complete list of dates is below.

    “It's a particular thing to hear Jeff play solo,” writes veteran Chicago musician and longtime Parker collaborator Matthew Lux in his liner note for Forfolks. “He is an unusually selfless improviser, often times laying out and highlighting the contributions of his band mates. He's never been one to play three notes where none would suffice. On this recording, however, he is by himself, joined only by his own ideas, looped or frozen, to flesh out the music he's creating in his mind. Hearing him craft entire sound worlds on these eight selections gives us an opportunity to really see how Parker orders sound … He eschews genre playing and chooses a painterly approach to coloring the music, maintaining a deeply personal voice without weighing down the music with obvious stylistic maneuverings.”

    The album follow’s Parker’s critically acclaimed 2020 record, Suite for Max Brown, which Pitchfork called an “effortlessly detailed album, full of tradition and experimentation that spans generations … It lives at the vanguard of new jazz music.” The album went on to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Current Contemporary Jazz Chart and No. 2 on the Contemporary Jazz Chart in the United States, with the Los Angeles Times calling it “a transcendent set of pieces that occupy a vague terrain lit by jazz, experimental electronic music, instrumental hip-hop and genre-jumping avant-rock ... Parker’s album ascends track by track with the majesty of a new-build high-rise transforming a skyline.”

    Parker is known to many fans as the longtime guitarist for the Chicago–based quintet Tortoise, one of the most critically revered, sonically adventurous groups to emerge from the American indie scene of the early 1990s. The band’s often hypnotic, largely instrumental sound draws freely from rock, jazz, electronic, and avant-garde music, and it has garnered a large following over the course of nearly thirty years. Aside from recording and touring with Tortoise, Parker has worked as a side man with many jazz greats, including Nonesuch labelmate Joshua Redman on his 2005 Momentum album; as a studio collaborator with other composer-musicians, including Brian Blade, Meshell Ndegeocello, and fellow International Anthem artists Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek; and as a solo artist.

    JEFF PARKER ON TOUR*

    Dec 10 Grey Eagle Tavern Asheville, NC
    Dec 11 Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC
    Dec 12 Creative Alliance Baltimore, MD
    Dec 14 The Sinclair Cambridge, MA
    Dec 15 Gateway City Arts Holyoke, MA
    Dec 16 Tubby's Kingston, NY
    Dec 17 Ardmore Music Hall Ardmore, PA
    Dec 18 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
         
    Jan 19 NYC Winter JazzFest @ NuBlu New York, NY
         
    Mar 25 Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN
         
    Mar 29 Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown, CA
    Mar 30 Casbah San Diego, CA
    Mar 31–Apr 2 Zebulon Los Angeles, CA
    Apr 4 The Guild Theatre Menlo Park, CA
    Apr 5 The Chapel San Francisco, CA
    Apr 6 Sebastiani Theatre Sonoma, CA
    Apr 8 Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
    Apr 9 Fawcett Hall at Alma Mater Tacoma, WA
    Apr 10 St. James Hall Vancouver, BC
    Apr 11 The Crocodile Seattle, WA
         

    * all dates with Steve Gunn, except NYC Winter JazzFEst with Makaya McCraven and Big Ears Festival with The New Breed

    Journal Articles:Album ReleaseArtist News

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