Jason Parra & The X Factor - Two Reasons
readers will know trumpet player like Herb Alpert, Rick Braun, Chris
Botti, Randy Brecker, Gene Harris, Billy Cobham, Tom Browne, Hugh
Masekela or Mark Isham. But there are a lot more talented artists
playing this fascinating instrument. I mention Michael Fair, Barry
Danielian, Bal, Gordon James, Dominic Glover, Ken Ross, Ron Haynes,
Lin Rountree, Brad Upton, Skip Martin, Jimmy Wilson and more.
Jason Parra is another one who definitely should be on your buying
list. His debut album "Two Reasons shows up his very accessible
"Playing jazz can be so clinical
and stuffy if you let it, just the nature of following changes will
hinder most players. Start with vamps or blues and let your mind
control your horn. This can be said for all instruments, including
your voice. We have been expressing ourselves with sound and language
from our first scream in the hospital to arguing with a club owner.
What comes out of our mouths is almost thoughtless----it just flows;
try to speak with your instrument, no thought, no analyzing just let
it flow and that’s when something magical can happen", comments
The album starts with the title track
Two Reasons on which Jason plays a clear
sounding nicely structured trumpet. Typical drum programming replaces
natural drums which makes the piece radio-like and unobtrusive. One
can compare Jason's style with Ken Ross ("Soul Ballet").
Jason performs a muted trumpet. Wayne
and Jason’s “X’s” were attacked by baby jellyfish in
giving the name to the song “Aguamala”---Bad Water.
The leading melody is hypnotically repetitive. I also like
the originally unique sounding keyboards and the funky attitude of the
Wish You Where
Here is an example for good arrangement. Jason overdubbs
several trumpet layers to a great orchestral horn section. Sounds
A blowing funky Twisted
has elements of funk, nu-jazz and more. A pushing bass and Jason
excellent muted trumpet make this groovy piece to a first highlight of
is the name of Jason's group and of the next tune. When I used the
term funk for previous tracks, then I should use the term phunk for
this phat dark piece. "There is something intangible about the
groove of a funk piece that just does it for me. Every song can have a
groove, but when the bass and drums are locked in on a funk groove it
seeps right into your body—I don’t care who you are, or what style
you like, a phunky groove will infect you." That's right!
But Jason also know to flirt with
women. His Mellow Traumatic
is unbeatable smooth and elegant.
On I Got To
Feel Myself the groove is really flowing. Jason Parra, Kent
Persons and Darin Stubbs are playing the sequences like balls in a
soccer game. I also appreciate the drum engagement of Nathan Keezer.
On some tracks like for example the
midtempo Can't You See the mood is darker
provoked by using the muted trumpet. On every listen one discovers new
The use of funky wah-wah-guitars is
an important style element on Never Look Back.
Slowly starting the tempo increases to a fuliminant crescendo.
Didn't See It
Coming is a presenting a convincing combination of horn section
and synth sound. I love this Fender Rhodes sound.
What Goes Around is a tune which deserves
the label contemporary jazz.
Jason Parra 's album "Two
Reasons" has certainly more than just two reasons to buy it. It
offers a big bunch of diverse styles for a broad audience. This fact
will make the album popular.