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I don’t recall the first time I worked with Aaron Parks, but I can remember I have always admired his playing.  Beside Aaron’s obvious technical and intellectual prowess, my favorite elements of his playing have most to do with his lyrical sound and touch.  Having a classical background myself, I hear much of that world in his playing – especially his approach to time which has a very personal “lilt” to my ears.  I have also always appreciated Aaron’s ability to play just the right solo length – never too long and always economical in the best possible way.

When writing this piece, I tried to capture the blend of melancholy and hope I often hear in Aaron’s music. The subtle use of major and minor sixths in the left hand or a simple melody floating over complex chords are just two examples of musical devices included in the composition that I have heard Aaron use to great effect. I remember that at our first and only rehearsal Aaron sight-read the piece flawlessly, as though he had known the compositions for years.  The ease with which he played the material somehow felt like proof that I had captured some of Aaron’s artistry within the composition itself.

This duet was filmed last year at the new home of the Jazz Gallery in NYC just after it opened. Rio Sakairi, the owner of this incredible non-profit space, invited me to participate in a one-month writing residency where the initial work for the Seasons project began. I was very happy to be able to document this November piece in the space where it was first written.

I would like to give a huge thanks to Aaron for his amazing musicianship and the beautiful audio and video work of Alex Chaloff.

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