About The CD
I don’t remember the first time I heard Nick Drake’s music, but I do remember that it was the song “Time Has Told Me”. Fitting that I should start with the first song from his debut album. I became a life-long fan at that moment and have spent many hours listening to his three studio albums and all of the other recordings that have surfaced since his untimely death in 1974.
A few years ago taught myself to play that song and a few others of Nick’s on the piano and in doing so, I realized how well suited they are for interpretation and exploration. His songs are full of emotion, yet sparse enough to lend themselves a variety of arrangements, and they match the open-ended style of the JPQ perfectly. I decided to do an arrangement of the song “Three Hours” for the band, and it came out so well that we ended up recording it for our last album, No More, No Less. That song became one of our signature tunes, and the reaction we received every time we played it was a pleasant surprise to me. I was happy to see our music and Nick’s music coming together to resonate so profoundly in others.
I had been wanting to pay tribute to Nick in a larger way, and decided to pick my favorite songs from his catalog for a new CD. As I listened through all his tunes, I kept coming back to the ten songs on Five Leaves Left. The album is such a mature and perfect statement. I realized that I couldn’t separate any individual songs from the totality of the album, and thus the idea was born to record the one album in its entirety as our tribute to Nick Drake.
About The Band
The JPQ consists of Jason Parker on trumpet & flugelhorn, Josh Rawlings on piano, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass and D’Vonne Lewis on drums. They have been honing their tight swinging sound for three years, which shows in the way they interact with each other on stage and the deep bond that results. Each member of the group pours his passion and excitement into the performance making a Jason Parker Quartet show both musically and visually exciting. These four Seattle musicians have carved their own path, honoring the jazz tradition by bringing their own passions and personalities to bear on the music.
For this project Parker enlisted the help of two very special guests, Cynthia Mullis on tenor sax & flute and Michele Khazak on vocals.
Meet the Band
|Jason Parker trumpet & flugelhorn
Jason started playing the trumpet after seeing a surprise concert by Dizzy Gillespie at his elementary school. Since then the horn has been his constant companion. He has been quietly making a name for himself on the Seattle scene for the past 10 years, and has played and recorded with the likes of Tom Scott, Crooked Fingers, DeVotchKa, Sarah Shannon, Grand Archives, Visqueen, Choklate, Byron Vannoy, Sean Nelson, Brian Kirk and Darrius Willrich. Jason is also an avid educator, teaching private trumpet lessons, classes in recording, performance and music theory, and is an instructor for The Experience Music Project and The Right Brain Center for the Arts. For more information please visit OneWorkingMusician.com.
|Josh Rawlings – piano
Pianist and Composer Josh Rawlings is a renaissance jazz pianist at ease playing genre-to-genre, setting-to-setting. Josh graduated from Seattle’s renowned Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, and has twice since been honored by Earshot Magazine’s Golden Ear Award Nominations. Josh quickly developed his own voice while studying and performing with world-class musicians like Denney Goodhew and the Qhromatics, Randy Halberstadt, Jovino Santos Neto and Hadley Caliman. Whether headlining or supporting on stage, Josh has a unique ability to merge with his fellow artists, anticipating, supporting and energizing his band mates to put on premier performances. Josh leads his own band, The Josh Rawlings Trio, and also performs in a wide range of groups, such as Soul Kata, The Teaching and Industrial Revelation. for more information please visit joshrawlings.com.
|Evan Flory-Barnes – bass
Evan’s buoyant swing, cold grooves, blistering solos and inventive bow playing have made him one of the most respected and in-demand musicians in Seattle. His own groups The Teaching, Threat of Beauty and Industrial Revelation exhibit his wide range of influences and talents, and he performs regularly with groups in all genres, including The Marc Seales Quintet, Jovino Santos Neto, Correo Aereo, Choklate and Scandalmonger. He was recently awarded the prestigious Meet the Composer grant to produce a 9-movement orchestral work featuring 10 dancers that was featured in the 2009 Earshot Jazz Festival (previous grantees include Jason Moran and Dave Douglas). In 2007 he was a featured artist on the Seattle Channel’s Verve Series of artist documentaries. For more information please visit evanflorybarnes.com.
|D’Vonne Lewis – drums
D’Vonne Lewis is a self-taught drummer with a background in gospel, funk, and rhythm and blues. Lewis graduated from Seattle’s Roosevelt High School where he received numerous high school jazz band awards, including outstanding soloist at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Since then he has performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Marian McPartland, Bucky Pizzarell, Dee Daniels, Eddie Daniels, Larry Fuller, Charles Gayle, and was awarded the Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award for Emerging Artist of 2006. He now leads his own quartet, Industrial Revelation, and plays regularly with The Marc Seales Quintet, McTuff, Choklate and Blue Scholars.
|Cynthia Mullis – tenor sax & flute
Since moving to Seattle in 2000, Cynthia Mullis has become an active member of the Pacific Northwest music scene after many years in New York and San Francisco. Cynthia leads her own group and is a valued side-person in numerous ensembles, including the Seattle Woman’s Jazz Orchestra. While in New York she studied with the acclaimed saxophonist Jimmy Heath and played with many of the city’s finest musicians in the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. Cynthia is also a graphic artist who enjoys discovering the parallels between visual art and music. For more information please visit cynthiamullis.com.
|Michele Khazak – vocals
Michele Khazak is a phenomenal vocalist and songwriter who was the one and only choice for this tribute. She leads her own band, Scandalmonger, and plays with many great groups in Seattle, including the Seattle Rock Orchestra, Spekulation, Threat of Beauty and Beth Fleenor’s Blindfold Ensemble. She trained as a concert pianist early in life, which has served her well in her music career. She has worked at Jack Straw Productions (where this CD was recorded) and legendary Seattle radio station KEXP. Also a fabulous artist, Michele did all the paintings that adorn the CD, which were inspired by the music of Nick Drake. For more information please visit michelekhazak.com.