»I'm always looking for ways to be surprised«, says composer and multi instrumentalist Jeff Parker as he explains the process, and the thinking, behind his new album Suite for Max Brown, released via a new partnership between International Anthem and Nonesuch Records.
»If I sit down at the piano or with my guitar, with staff paper and a pencil, I'm eventually going to fall into writing patterns, into things I already know. So, when I make music, that's what I'm trying to get away from-the things that I know.« Despite its musical departures, in presentation Suitefor Max Brown is an informal companion piece to The New Breed, Parker's debut release on International Anthem, which was honored as one of the »Best Albums of 2016« by New York Times, Observer, and Los Angeles Times. »I made The New Breed based off these old sample-based compositions and mixed them with improvising«, Parker says. »That's in a nutshell how I make a lot of my music; it's a combination of sampling, editing, retriggeringaudio, and recording it, moving it around and trying to make it into something cohesive... With Max Brown, it's evolved.«
Though Parker collaborates with a coterie of musicians under the group name The New Breed, theirs is by no means a conventional »band« relationship. Parker is very much a solo artist on Suite for Max Brown. His accompanists are often working alone with Parker, reacting to what Parker has provided them, and then Parker uses those individual parts to layer and assemble into his final tracks. The process may be relatively solitary and cerebral, but the results feel like in-the-moment jams - warm-hearted, human, alive. Suite for Max Brown brims with personality, boasting the rhythmic flow of hip hop and the soulful swing of jazz.