3 November 2014

One Parrott

I was always confused by the Parrotts – Australians in NYC, bass or horns? Alto/baritone saxist Lisa Parrott mentioned her sister bassist Nicki and all was explained. Lisa performed with old mates at Wang, mostly reforming her band of twenty years before with Cameron Undy and Carl Dewhurst, now playing with Simon Barker. This was a pretty daunting outing. It opened with a head all heavily syncopated hits, through several energetic opening bass solos, dedications to Charlie Haden with a great rendition of Ornette’s Lonely woman which is still mulling in my head, with a little sidestepping into Pixinguinha and a tune about a soccer score (for the record, it was 1-0). I felt a strange NYC presence in Lisa’s alto playing: not all flash but conceptually consistent, sequenced, reasoned but ironic. Not sure if I’m imagining things here. Her alto was also nicely open, woody and softly toned. Baritone is more big and clumsy and Lisa played it in a more simple, bluesy style, but how beautiful was this deeper simplicity on the ballad that Lisa had written with Nicky in response to a Banjo Patterson poem, Do you think that I do not know. Her sidemen were nicely in synch. Simon considerate and detailed; Carl fluent and crisply toned; Cameron energetic and very busy on bass. It’s sometime since I’ve seen Cameron in performance and he’s as impressive as ever. This was a set of much seriousness that verged on the avant-garde and it was a pleasure to hear it.

Lisa Parrott (alto, baritone sax) led a quartet with Carl Dewhurst (guitar), Cameron Undy (bass) and Simon Barker (drums).

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