JAZZPLORATION – 8.5 out of 10 Stars
For what Lisa describes as a nearly impromptu session – this is an astoundingly surefooted, organized and stylistically solidified album. To coin an old phrase: “You can drop the needle down anywhere on this album” and have a good time. The conversation & interplay between Parrott and guitarist Carl Dewhurst is amazing, delightful and rare. The songs themselves are nearly all uplifting, Parrott’s own attractive lament “Do You Think That I Do Not Know” is the main exception. Having the ever creative Matt Wilson in the mix is a real plus, supplying energy and drive as well as tremendous support; locking in big time with fine bassist Chris Lightcap. Lisa’s musicality and liberty is her ‘voice’ on either baritone or alto, both are distinguished and beautiful. Finally, the selection of songs is a treat.
All About Jazz – 3.5 out of 4 Stars
More than ten thousand miles separate New York and Australia, but saxophonist Lisa Parrott’s music bridges that gap. On Round Tripper, the Australian-born, New York-based Parrott makes music that speaks to her connections to both locales and the bonds that she’s made in both places over the years.
Round Tripper finds Parrott working with an integrated American-Australian outfit: Omnipresent drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Chris Lightcap represent the former category while guitarist Carl Dewhurst, one of Parrott’s frequent collaborators, and guest trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, another Australian-turned-New Yorker who works with Parrott in the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, represent the latter. Together, these musicians cover a tremendous amount of ground.
All About Jazz – 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Alto saxophonist/free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, in the recording studio for bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s For the Love of Ornette (Jazzwerkstatt, 2010), said to a band about to break into a tune: “Fellas. Fellas. Can you hear me? Forget the notes and get to the idea.” New York-based, Australian-bred alto and baritone saxophonist Lisa Parrott seems to have taken at least half of that advice to heart. It’s uncertain whether or not she has forgotten the notes, but she most definitely gets to the heart of the idea, and the feeling.
Round Tripper, Parrott’s first recording as a stand alone leader (she’s co-led a couple of dates), opens with “Rosa Takes a Stand,” a prickly, angular melody that sounds like something Ornette C. might have written (he didn’t; it was penned by Carlos Ward). Parrott is on alto here, and she brings as much feeling, as much human emotion to the mix as anyone out there. It’s a sound with a backbone, with a soul, with verve and resilience: a quartet dynamic born of a perfect confluence of disparate personalities gelling toward a common goal—getting to the idea.
Downbeat – 4 Stars
The title of Lisa Parrott’s latest, Round Tripper (Serious Niceness 3014; 41:09), is derived from the treks that the saxophonist makes between her native Australia and her adopted home in New York, but it could just as well refer to the way that her music travels from Ornette-inspired modernism to post-bop swing and back. That juxtaposition is most apparent on opener “Rosa Takes A Stand,” which thrives on the playful tension between the angular melody and drummer Matt Wilson’s jaunty bop rhythms. While she’s been most noticed for her bari playing, Parrott lets her alto take the spotlight for most of this session, which is centered on the interplay between her and countryman/guitarist Carl Dewhurst.
Step Tempest Review
Richard B. Kamins
Australian-born saxophonist (alto and baritone) Lisa Parrott moved to the United States since 1993 and she has pretty busy ever since. She’s a copyist for several big bands, a member of DIVA Jazz Orchestra and the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and has appeared on numerous CDs including 7 with her sister Nicki (bass and vocals).
“Round Tripper” (Serious Niceness Records) is really her debut as a leader – the title refers to the fact she often returns home to teach and to play. Joining her are the splendid rhythm section of Chris Lightcap (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums) plus she shares the “front line” with fellow countryman Carl Dewhurst (guitar) and co-producer Nadje Noordhuis (trumpet and flugelhorn on 2 tracks). Ms. Parrott’s choice of material is inspired.