If Seven Serenades for Scalloped Guitar were considered the original, then Sangria: An Indo Latin Jazz Experience by Mariah Parker would certainly be a sequel of sorts. Parker produced this debut recording with Serenades Matthew Montfort. She composed and played on the track “Sangria,” which originally appeared on Montfort’s latest release.
On Parker’s “world-fusion music”-influenced CD, the track “Sangria” appears again in a full band version, and as just one of the eight songs that are filled with musical combinations of piano, bansuri, santur, tabla, bass and the scalloped fretboard guitar. She takes her East Indian experiences with Montfort one step further musically by exploring and incorporating inspirations from Spain, Cuba and Brazil with jazz to infuse these styles into her compositions.
Each piece has a feeling of wandering and delight. Parker masterfully plays piano and santur. With Montfort among them, her supporting musicians are a veritable who’s who in the jazz world, including Kash Kallion, first-call bass player and multi-instrumentalist with San Ra; Duru Demetrius, Latin Percussionist with jazz icons such as Joe Henderson and Hebie Hancock; and Debopriyo Sarkar, tabla virtuoso whose recent tours include Kronos Quartet – just to name a few.
Parker graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a music degree. She has performed with several world musicians, including working with Mickey Hart on his Planet Drum project, and has played in festivals here and in Europe. Her love of jazz developed while studying with jazz great Art Lande and Latin jazz pianist extraordinaire Rebecca Mauléon.
For jazz piano lovers, this is a must have CD reminiscent of George Winston, with haunting dissonance carefully framed in the context of Latin Jazz.