A solo guitar set in this intimate Hill Street venue slap bang in the middle of the busy Cathedral Quarter entertainment area - the feeling of wanting to hear Jeff Parker with a band like his ETA 4tet took a while to depart. But as it turned out the fertile sounds conjured by the American player alone - and there wasn't even a support act to warm up the room - provided quite a harvest.
Playing material partly drawn from 2021's Forfolks including the bright as a pin title track (as near as a title track anyway to make little difference given the 'Four Folks' puntastic homophonic wordplay) and the standard 'My Ideal' - it was the version of Frank Ocean's 'Super Rich Kids' and the Monk medley of 'Crepuscule with Nellie' and 'Ugly Beauty' that worked best.
Parker at all times made interesting chord choices delivered in a fractured unpeeling of layers that were matched by the haze and mysterious hum and bubble of electronic effects that sprawled all around him. Parker spoke to the audience a little, just enough - he has a quiet approach but his music speaks volumes. You certainly find yourself completely in his world. And there is often a poignancy in his improvisations the shape of the piece always leading you down a road less travelled that is just part of the ingenious spell. Jeff Parker photos: marlbank at the Black Box