A live setting is the perfect place for Parris to show his stuff. A versatile and unique guitarist, he has been around and done some major-label work in the past. Now releasing his stuff independently, it’s nice to hear him in a setting where he can shine.
It’s not easy to pigeonhole Parris. Jazz is one of the checkpoints, but then what do you make of the country stomper “Oblivion Express”? It’s full of Chet-style swirling guitar and chicken pickin’ that’ll have you cluckin’ along. In fact, country-style double stops show up a lot. Even in jazzy tunes. And they fit very nicely. “Ol’ Soul” lets him show off his flair for harmonies and bends. “Sister Sadie” is another stop on the “bend.” It’s a funk tune, but his two- and three-string bends fit perfectly. And that’s only part of the solo. Speaking of funk, “Sex Machine” wraps up the disc, and it’s airtight, pushed along by Gil’s jazzy soloing.
The highlight here is Parris’ version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which is a tour de force with a collection of licks and feels as astounding as anything you’ll hear.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’05 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.