12.29.15Review of Parallel Man in allaboutjazz.com by Graham E. Peterson,
A modern guitar trio led by New York City guitarist Ken Silverman comes out of the gate burning with rhythmic intensity on the title track "Parallel Man." Silverman develops a motif of parallel guitar lines while a powerful rhythm sections support his development. He enters into a glistening glissando section bringing to mind sounds of sitar that build a drive so hard that his tone reminds one of a Charles Mingus solo, ready to explode. There is no doubt an appreciation for the avant-garde here as Silverman experiments with dissonant harmonies and rhythmically interesting phrasing. Immediately following this track is one that caught my eye initially, opening with a bowed bass line "Renoir" is a marriage of modern jazz sounds with hallmarks to an appreciation for country music reminiscent of the old west, a cowboy stranded in Manhattan.
The album has no lack of diversity as the next two tracks "Odyssey in Blue" and "Elbow Grease" feature an appreciation for blues and funk music respectively. Silverman's tone here is reminiscent of players like Danny Gatton, but with phrasing that recalls players such as Kenny Burrell. On "Elbow Grease" you can hear him begin to dig into the instrument deeper causing popping sounds reminiscent of slap bass guitar. Immediately following this exploration he goes back into the world of country on the track "Little Ditty." Silverman is taking his entire musical vocabulary to the maximum here. Where most jazz musicians have been known to stray or even flat around run from country music, he has no issue embracing it as another musical tradition to better shape and develops his sound. It is light and refreshing from the norms of modern jazz that seem to almost demand nothing but harmonic complexity and bebop lines that reach only fellow music students.
The final track on the album "Outer Revulsion" opens with a line that feels more angular than it does parallel. The entire melodic statement has development of a proper motif while still incorporating a very interesting treatment of dissonance that cannot be ignored, and almost screams "Look at me!" Mr. Silverman is engaging in artistic development and appears to be responding musically to the modern world in a manner that is fresh and unique to his own experience—not just as a musician, or even as a listener, but as a human being and a member of this strange and confusing world that we all coexist in. Parallel Man touches on sounds of the human condition and leaves one with the strange emptiness of "now what?" It is a record that leaves one willing to leave their studio apartment and venture out into the unknown looking for new experiences.
04.11.15Parallel Man reviewed in allaboutjazz.com
Ken Silverman: Parallel Man (2015)
By HRAYR ATTARIAN, Published: March 14, 2015 | 1,208 views
Ken Silverman: Parallel Man
At first glance guitarist Ken Silverman's Parallel Man appears to be an album having an identity crisis. It seems lacking a unifying theme and the sense of adventure that marked its predecessors. A careful listen, however, reveals another explorative dimension, one that tries to find the core commonality among seemingly disparate genres. From the western swing of "Little Ditty" to the soulful blues of "Odyssey In Blue" to a Sergei Prokofiev composition these performances are all enveloped with an intimate lyricism.
Silverman's warm guitar lines glow within the darkly hued ambience of the "Visions Fugitives, #1." His strings resonate against the subtle rumble of his band mates endowing Prokofiev's contemplative piece with an understated spontaneity. Bassist Sam McPherson launches into an eloquent solo that melts into the closing sparse and pensive bars.
The intriguing title track opens with overlapping, dramatic patterns made up of expectant and haunting vamps. Silverman alternates single plucks and strums as he ushers in a melodic ensemble sound that creates a thrilling change in mood. His distorted tones bring forth yet a third atmospheric backdrop made up of angular phrases and otherworldly rhythmic flourishes.
Another shared thread among the various tunes is Silverman's unique instrumentalism and individual style. His playing is agile without being showy, cerebral while eschewing abstruseness. Even on the funky "Elbow Grease" his swaggering interpretation simmers with reserved passion is peppered with inventive ideas.
Meanwhile on the tense and cinematic "Renoir" Silverman's cool, slowly evolving refrains, laced with an occasional twang, create exquisite nostalgia. His Asian influenced expressions are delightfully mellifluous while, simultaneously being intricate and thought provoking. Drummer Andy O'Neill's deeply reverberating resounding beats precede the elegant conclusion.
Parallel Man, with its duality, is certainly a change of direction in Silverman's artistic development and this is not, necessarily, regretful. On one hand his new disc is polished, sophisticated and accessible and will introduce a different audience to his work. On the other, the absence of bold improvisational rigor may disappoint some who are familiar with his past releases. Nevertheless, this is an engaging record full of intelligent ideas and charming melodies that is a refreshingly honest statement by a singular and superb musician.
Track Listing: Parallel Man; Renoir; Odyssey in Blue; Elbow Grease; Little Ditty; Visions Fugitives, #1; Outer Revulsion
Personnel: Ken Silverman: guitar; Sam McPherson:bass; Andy O'Neil: drums.
Record Label: Soundseer
Style: Modern Jazz
04.02.15Parallel Man reviewed in the Gapplegate Guitar and bass blog
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Ken Silverman Trio, Parallel Man
It is without any flippancy whatever that I say that guitarist Ken Silverman is one of the principal exponents of a jazz-rock guitar style that incorporates, transforms and updates the old surf sound. Surf guitar is no less an art when done well than any other, but it takes a special sensibility to get a sound that resonates with basic approaches that come out of early electric rock-surf style yet goes beyond into today and the complexities of the present.
You can hear that nicely in his latest, the Ken Silverman Trio and Parallel Man (SoundSeer S10003). He is joined by roadworthy colleagues in Sam McPherson on double bass and Andy O'Neill on drums. They set the tone for Ken's out-front presence in a set of originals and an arrangement, of all things, of Prokofiev's "Visions Fugitives #1."
It all serves to give you a good look at where Ken is at these days.
I found it all very refreshing. If you resonate with that old instrumental sound this brings it back to us as contemporary art! Listen.
Posted by Grego Applegate Edwards at 6:05 AM
Labels: jazz-rock guitar trio, jazz-rock-surf guitar today, ken silverman parallel man gapplegate guitar review
02.13.15Ken Silverman Trio CD Release Performance for "Parallal Man at Why Not Jazz Room, 9 P.M.
Ken Silverman Trio CD Release Performance for "Parallal Man at Why Not Jazz Room, 9 P.M.
01.05.15Ken Silverman Trio Releases "Parallel Man."
On January 5, 2015 theKen Silverman Trio released "Parallel Man"
on SoundSeer Records.
Sam MacPherson -- Bass
And Andy O'Neill - Drums