This record has been the soundtrack to my week. I didn’t know about this album until a few months after it’s release last winter. When I found out about it, it was spring or summer and it didn’t feel the right time to fully experience an album by Jeff Parker, especially one called Bright Light in Winter. So, I finally bought it last weekend and it’s been playing ever since.
As posted in my other blog a month or so ago, I’m a pretty big fan of Jeff Parker and all of his projects (Tortoise, Isotope 217, etc.). The Relatives is a favorite album of mine that I revisited this winter by buying a copy on vinyl on eBay. That record is a great winter record and I figured this one would be too even without the suggestive title. I’ve never been to Chicago, but I imagine the winters to be alot like winters in Pittsburgh, long and cold. Parker’s albums feel like winter, but in the best possible way.
Normally, I’m not much of a jazz guitar guy. Not that I dislike guitar, but it’s easy to be overexposed to it, especially nowadays. If you go out to any open stage jazz night, you’ll see like 5 guitarists for every 1 horn player showing up ready to play. But I really like Jeff Parker. Maybe it’s because I don’t really think of him as a “jazz” guitarist. He is, but he’s not really doing the obligatory jazz licks or nods to the past that many contemporary jazz guys are doing.
Bright Light In Winter has a more cohesive overall vibe than The Relatives had. That’s not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. It’s very chill and understated but it works really well, especially for a “winter” album.
Here’s the 6th track from the album “Occidental Tourist”. Enjoy.