Invisible Cinema is the most recent offering from twenty four year old Aaron Parks, a composer and pianist who is more than capable of delivering exactly what the album’s title suggests.
Although he is still young, Aaron Parks’ career is moving at warp speed. At age thirteen he had already been admitted to university. By eighteen, he was touring and playing with acclaimed jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard. After appearing on three of Blanchard’s albums, Aaron was soon generating positive reviews and attention.
Invisible Cinema is an interesting blend of many different genres with a jazz sensibility marbled throughout; to listen to this record is to be transported. There is no choice. Each selection builds on the previous to create a series of vistas, yet they can each stand independently. Images unfurl in the mind as you listen and it’s the kind of record you will return to often.
There is an early Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry quality to Invisible Cinema which I wasn’t able to quite articulate until I saw Brian Eno listed on Parks’ MySpace page as an influence. Radiohead and Miles Davis are there too with many, many others and it’s an impressive list of names.
As well as clearly being an Old Soul, Aaron Parks also has an ethereal look himself striking me as an impossibly cool blend of, say, Gavin Rossdale and someone from the Canterbury Tales ...
Invisible Cinema features Mike Moreno on guitar, Matt Penman on bass, Eric Harland on drums. Aaron plays piano, mellotron, glockenspiel and keyboards.
Tracks of note:
Peaceful Warrior has a haunting, plaintive beginning that Parks layers and builds upon seamlessly without the listener noticing they have suddenly been to the outer edges of another (jazz) galaxy and back. It’s Arthurian and Zen all at the same time.
Into the Labrynth is melancholic and truly beautiful. Parks’ piano expertise is fresh and sensitive – never repetitive – and the musical patterns he creates here expand like ripples from a pebble being dropped into a stream.
Harvesting Dance is an epic piece showcasing many different flavours that rise and fall. There are hints of swirling Jewish folk music and a kind of ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ underlying menace towards the end. Listen up for Eric Harland’s drum solo.
Nemesis is a highly evolved piece that features an insistent Parks on both mellotron and keyboards while Moreno’s hammering guitarwork is perfectly punctuated to urge him on. The entire effect is very trancelike but,I should point out, not reassuring.
Invisible Cinema is a panoramic, sweeping body of work and shows huge emotional depth from a composer who is so young. Aaron Parks is one to watch. Listen mindfully.
Buy Invisible Cinema now at amazon.com!