Jeff Parker Trio | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Jeff Parker Trio 18+ Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Aug. 8, 9:30 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 9, 9:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $20, $10 in advance
Jeff Parker improves any group he plays in—Tortoise’s postrock got much deeper when he joined the band in the mid-90s, for instance, and he brought acidic funk and noise to the second iteration of Ken Vandermark’s Powerhouse Sound. But perhaps no project has showcased the guitarist’s gorgeous sound, melodic ingenuity, and compositional warmth better than his long-running trio with bassist Chris Lopes and drummer Chad Taylor. The three musicians have a lot of shared history: Parker and Lopes met in Boston in the late 80s, and in the early 90s they moved their group Last Kwartet to Chicago; Taylor entered the picture when the three of them worked in early versions of Rob Mazurek’s Chicago Underground. But it’s been years since they’ve lived in the same city—these days Taylor is in New York, Lopes is in Detroit, and Parker is in Los Angeles. The trio most recently performed in Chicago in November 2011, when they were here to record Bright Light in Winter (Delmark), their second album. It’s looser than the group’s 2003 debut, Like-Coping, which they recorded while they were still gigging together frequently, but it’s nonetheless lovely—the wide-ranging tunes, contributed by all three members, include the bossa-flavored “Bright Light Black Site,” Taylor’s gorgeous “Mainz,” and the atmospheric, groove-oriented “Istvan.” When the trio last played in town they’d yet to internalize this material—I can’t wait to hear what it sounds like three years later. —Peter Margasak



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