Jeff Parker - Build a Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)

Song of the Day
Hosted by Larry Mizell, Jr.

Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Larry Mizell, Jr., host of the Afternoon Show on KEXP, is "Build a Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)" by Jeff Parker, from the 2020 album Suite for Max Brown on International Anthem.

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pHOTO BY jim newberry
written by janice headley

With his 2016 album The New Breed, guitarist Jeff Parker paid tribute to his Dad, who passed away while he was recording it. With his latest release, Suite For Max Brown, he wanted to dedicate something to his Mom while she was still alive to hear it. "Maxine Brown is her maiden name and everybody calls her Max," Parker explained in a press statement. "The picture on the cover is her when she was 19." Today's Song of the Day makes it a family affair as it features guest vocals from Parker's daughter, Ruby.

Parker has shown his dexterity as a member of experimental post-rock bands Tortoise and Isotope 217. With Suite For Max Brown, he utilizes a mix of digital and analog instruments. He explains:

I used to deejay a lot when I lived in Chicago. I was spinning records one night and for about 10 minutes I was able to perfectly synch up a Nobukazu Takemura record with the first movement of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and it had this free jazz, abstract jazz thing going on with a sequenced beat underneath. It sounded so good. That’s what I’m trying to do with Suite For Max Brown. It’s got a sequenced beat and there are musicians improvising on top or beneath the sequenced drum pattern. That’s what I was going for. Man vs. machine.

It’s a lot of experimenting, a lot of trial and error. I like to pursue situations that take me outside myself, where the things I come up with are things I didn’t really know I could do. I always look at this process as patchwork quilting. You take this stuff and stitch it together until a tapestry forms.

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