I first ran across Gil Parris on his 1998 self-titled release. It was a doozy that showed off his considerable guitar skills covering the gamut of jazz, blues, and country. This release does more of the same. Parris has got the goods, and all seven cuts here show it.
Fans of ’50s and ’60s jazz guitar will flip over the title cut, which has Parris soloing nicely over a light latin feel. The parenthetical title of the song is “For Wes,” and it’s not hard to see why. His octave work and trips through the changes pay more than a little debt to Mr. Montgomery. “Tears of Goodbye” lets him show off a bit, as his playing winds around the great changes, and even strays a little outside in a very interesting fashion. On “New Beginning,” Gil shows off a more ’70s fusion style than the rest of the album. The biting, big tone highlights the slightly-off-kilter blues wonderfully. “An Ardent Man” is bop heaven. “Soul Fathers” has as imaginative a solo in this type of setting as you’re likely to hear. And the smoky nightclub feel of “Curved Corners” lets Parris bend to his heart’s delight and shows off dazzling runs.
The support here is wonderful, too. The rhythm section is just right, and various saxophone players add great solos to pretty much every cut.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.