Aaron Parks: Peaceful Warrior


Peaceful Warrior


Aaron Parks (piano)


Invisible Cinema (Blue Note 09011)

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Aaron Parks (piano), Mike Moreno (guitar), Matt Penman (bass), Eric Harland (drums).

Composed by Aaron Parks


Recorded: Brooklyn, January 20-22, 2008


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

The self-contradicting song title reflects the paradoxical nature of this composition, which alternates between pastoral moods and more driving urban rhythms. Parks shows great patience in constructing and transforming his sonic landscapes. He is never in a rush, no matter what the tempo. Here he dwells lovingly over a simple folk-oriented melody and variations for almost four minutes before shifting gears. For a moment the rest of the band drops out, and the pianist stakes out new territory with a lilting two-hand vamp that soon draws the other musicians back into the swirling sound-colors. A more intense groove now permeates the music and underpins strong solos from Parks and Moreno. The eventual return to the ECM-ish opening melody seems to indicate the end of our journey, but the pianist adds a delicate, extended pointillistic coda that is quite effective. This is a poised performance from a young artist, and demonstrates a mature musical vision both in his composition and its execution.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


  • 1 Linda Lomperis // Dec 31, 2008 at 10:33 PM
    I just heard "Peaceful Warrior" this am. on NPR, and found it absolutely extraordinary!!! It starts with a simple, beguiling melody which then builds into a beautifully orchestrated medley with the other musicians. I loved the contradictory nature of the tempo and rhythms, which the oxymoronic title foreshadows. It is serene and stirring, catchy--even whimsical--and then subtle, sophisticated, multi-dimensional and refined. In short, I loved it.