Jeff Parker, Black Box, Belfast ***

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 …

Published: 3 Nov 2022. Updated: 29 days.

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.

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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

Tags: REVIEWS - LIVES

Jeff Parker ETA IVtet, Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy, Eremite ****

ETA as in a Los Angeles bar - the letters standing for the Enfield Tennis Academy. The bar is a homage to David Foster Wallace. Live album of the year? Yes, up there in drastically more casual but no less serious circumstances along with the Wayne …

Published: 2 Nov 2022. Updated: 33 days.

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ETA as in a Los Angeles bar - the letters standing for the Enfield Tennis Academy. The bar is a homage to David Foster Wallace. Live album of the year? Yes, up there in drastically more casual but no less serious circumstances along with the Wayne Shorter Detroit album referred to here and the spectacular upcoming Soweto LSO epic White Juju. Tortoise guitar genius Jeff Parker is here with Suite For Max Brown saxophonist Josh Johnson, bassist Anna Butterss and drummer Jay Bellerose who was on Solomon Burke late period masterpiece Don't Give Up On Me.

Drill into Van Morrison's 'Fast Train' for Bellerose's stellar touch on the Burke album. Here not so much by contrast but in a parallel universe Bellerose who is very important on Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy is in hypnotic listening mode touching the kit when it makes elemental sense, not minimalist at all, just necessary even Gadd-like in the overall gravity of time and role. Parker's playing wisdom is profound, the timing and subtlety exquisite as is his scalar resource. The complete recordings made at the ETA add up to 10 hours apparently. More please.

Jeff Parker plays the Black Box in Belfast tonight