JEFF PARKER (b. Bridgeport, Connecticut USA, 4/4/67) is a guitarist, composer, educator, and sculptor of sonic textures. Since 1990, he has focused on being adaptable in musical environments that are constantly changing; he is an improvising musician. Recognized as one of contemporary music's most versatile and innovative electric guitarists, his music is characterized by ideas of angularity and logic. He works in a variety of mediums, from Jazz to contemporary music, using ideas informed by innovations and trends in both popular and experimental music. He creates works that explore and exploit the contrary relationships between tradition and technology, improvisation and composition, and the familiar and the abstract. His sonic palette may employ techniques from sample-based technologies, analog and digital synthesis, and conventional and extended techniques from over 35 years of playing the guitar.
A longtime member of the band Tortoise, he is also a founding member of the critically acclaimed and innovative groups Isotope 217° and Chicago Underground. A look at his work as a sideman offers a glimpse into Mr. Parker's diversity. This list includes but is not limited to: Jason Moran, Joshua Redman, Charles Earland, Joey DeFrancesco, Dave Douglas, Fred Anderson, Nels Cline, Ken Vandermark, Matana Roberts, Bill Dixon, Nicole Mitchell, Tom Zé, Taylor Ho Bynum, George Lewis, Meshell Ndegeocello and Brian Blade. Currently he has been focusing on solitary work and solo performance - to cultivate and establish an idiosyncratic relationship between electronic and acoustic compositional properties in music.
"Jeff Parker is arguably the most exciting and thoughtful jazz guitarist of the past two decades, a masterful free improviser who's also fluent in everything from postbop to postrock." -Chicago Reader
"Guitarist Jeff Parker's performance sounded like a collision of Grant Green's crisp tone and James Blood Ulmer's vocabulary. But Parker, probably best known as a member of the post-rock band Tortoise, has absorbed so many styles and worked in so many situations that he really comes across as an individual with vast roots." -- Jazz Times Magazine