Trombonist Rick Parker is rapidly developing as a leader/composer/arranger who exhibits tremendous creativity and musicality. On New York Gravity, the Rick Parker Collective comes out smoking on Thad Wilson's track of the same name and immediately pulls you into their gravitational field. Wilson, who also appears as a guest trumpeter/flügelhornist on the CD alongside Chris Ioannou on soprano/tenor saxophones and bass clarinet, Andrew Haskell on piano and Fender Rhodes, Matt Grason on double bass, and Kyle Struve on drums, places the emphasis on swing and does so in a big way. Parker is no less hard-driving on his trombone solos, and once heard on "Experiment in Mist-ery," he steps aside to let Wilson's rapid-fire lines take over. His dizzying array of quotes sets the stage for the mysterious sound of Ioannou's soprano sax, and this gripping performance hints that there are perhaps more musical sides to the freer art than previously expected. Parker wrote all of the songs except the title track, "Thank You," and "Going Out," yet all three songs were contributed by musicians who also performed on this session. With New York Gravity, the Rick Parker Collective has blazed "The New Path" for modern jazz enthusiasts, one that can be recommended for constant travel in your musical journeys. Top picks: "New York Gravity," "Transitation," "The New Path," and the burner "Going Out."
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein