Thu 19 Jul 2018
Jeff Barker leads his retro-futurist jazz ensemble the New Breed in a performance responding to the artwork of Charles White and artists associated with the Chicago Black Renaissance.
Jeff Parker is best known as a member of the band Tortoise and has been a prolific pillar of the Chicago jazz and experimental music scene over the past 20+ years.
When Parker moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2014, he found the opportunity to reopen some home recordings and beat projects that had been dormant on his hard drive for years. By early 2015 Parker had refined several compositional ideas around his samples, and enlisted local friend Paul Bryan to engineer and play bass guitar in sessions with saxophonist Josh Johnson and drummer Jamire Williams. The recordings were conducted to capture composed passages as well as free playing that used Parker’s beats and sample suites as improvisational criterion. Parker named the project the New Breed, after a clothing store his late father Ernie owned and operated in the 1970s, and finished the album by stitching the band tracks together with intermittent pieces of beat memories from his archive.
The final presentation is a retrospective tapestry that explores Parker’s past both musically and patrilineally, as a potent compositional tribute to his influences and a collaboration with his kin held together by clippings from the family photo album. The New Breed is Parker’s most vibrant and comprehensively personal work yet, appropriately the first in 11 years with only his name in the lead artist column.