The New Breed album cover
The New Breed

Jeff Parker

International Anthem Recording Company

Parker took to the International Anthem community with such a direct ease that it’s easy to forget what a detour he was making with his first solo release for the label. Partially inspired by his relocation from Chicago to the Brainfeeder-fueled Los Angeles electronic/beat/jazz scene and its Madlib/Dilla-indebted sense of post-boom-bap sample-flip production, Parker excavated a handful of his old first-draft beatmaker exercises and built a new ensemble-cast recording around a hybrid of improv and loop-structured music that gave his guitar playing new dimensions to explore. Opener “Executive Life” is one of the most beautifully off-kilter things he’s ever done — big-band horn samples struck with Jello-kneed inebriation lope across lux-upholstered bass before receding beneath Parker and sax player Josh Johnson’s chirpily sly interplay — an approach done to mellower, subtly more melancholy effect on the Aretha “Day Dreaming”-interpolating “Jrifted.” It’s also a pleasure to hear him air out his emotively graceful playing on simpler, more spacious pieces like the murky soul-jazz groove of “Get Dressed” and the syrup-gloss amble of “How Fun It Is to Year Whip."

Nate Patrin

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