Antonio Parker | Planetentiary

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Grover Washington Jr. Kenny Garrett Maceo Parker

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United States - Maryland

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Jazz: Jazz-Funk Jazz: Jazz Fusion Moods: Instrumental
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by Antonio Parker

An eclectic blend of funk, jazz, fusion and groove.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz-Funk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Universe Is Funky (Spoken Word Excerpt)
0:42 album only
2. Planetentiary Intro
2:11 album only
3. Space Funky
5:17 album only
4. Get Down with Me
4:11 album only
5. Myspace
7:31 album only
6. The Ether
6:54 album only
7. Moon Dancin'
6:04 album only
8. Cosmic Groove
5:42 album only
9. Un-Relativity Theory
5:35 album only
10. A Million Years (Spoken Word Excerpt)
1:11 album only
11. Black Planet
6:14 album only
12. The Big Bang
5:09 album only
13. Planetentiary Theme
4:44 album only
14. Liquid Love
5:19 album only
15. Planetentiary Outro
2:20 album only
16. Liquid Love Outro (Spoken Word Full)
2:35 album only
17. The Universe Is Funky (Spoken Word Full)
3:15 album only
18. A Million Years (Spoken Word Full)
2:50 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"The Universe is Funky!" This is the theme and concept of the "Planetentiary CD." It is inspired by my curious fascination with the cosmos. My biggest fascination is the question: Are we alone in the Universe? This is a question that many people have pondered probably since the dawn of man. I can't imagine in a seemingly infinite universe, that we are the only form of intelligent life that exists. What say you?

This CD is my personal reflection of how I see and interpret the funky universe. I want to take the listener on an eclectic musical excursion through time and space. Each musical selection on this project is a universe within itself. Collectively however, it presents an exciting musical mixture of funk, fusion, jazz and groove. So all aboard the Planetentiary Space Shuttle. We are about to blast off!

This recording opens with an original spoken word excerpt by Brother Yao Glover, "The Universe Is Funky!" Brother Yao speaks like a wise sage preparing his students for interstellar travel. The tone of his voice beckons all within earshot to take heed and contemplate our connection to the funky universe.

The first song, "Planetentiary Intro" features the Planetentiary Band and opens with a sort of airy, free, atmospheric and suspended sounding vibe before locking into a groove that sets the stage for whats to follow. The opening bass line suggests Sly & The Family Stone's, "Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself'," followed by the horn's entrance playing a simple melody which rhythmically punctuates the groove laid down by the rhythm section and concludes with series moving harmonic progressions that return back to the groove. The song ends with band collectively improvising on a fade out.

"Space Funky" turns up the tempo just slightly, however continuing with the funk groove. The melody enters rather simply stated. However, the groove still captivates. This track features trumpet sensation Roy Hargrove. Roy was considered one of the young lions of jazz in the late 80's and early 90s. He is now considered a seasoned veteran by many. After my David Sanborn-ish, Maceo-ish solo, Roy follows with a solo reminiscent of the great Miles Davis's chromatic approach to harmony. Although you hear the Miles influence, Roy has his own signature voice when it comes to the trumpet. It is certainly evident on this recording.

The fourth track "Get Down With Me' is my feature song. It is the only track that is not really theme based (as practically all of the other selection titles makes reference to some aspect of the universe or outer space). I think this song is the perfect highlight for me. It gives me the opportunity to show the funky side of my musical personality. You can hear elements of one my biggest musical influences in my playing, Kenny Garrett. I was definitely channeling Mr. Garrett on this song. One can also make the case that I've been checking out some Maceo Parker too. This is one of my favorite tracks on the recording.

"MySpace" is straight up groove. This track introduces another sensational trumpeter on the scene, Mr. Russell Gunn. His solo on this track is amazing! It's oozing with virtuosity. I remember being in the studio as he was laying down this improvisational masterpiece. I was blown away! The only thing I could do on my solo was go in ta different direction, focusing on less notes and making a more emotional appeal. I had to into my Grover Washington Jr. bag on this one. Guitarist, Alvin White also does some superb playing on this track. He improvises all the way up to the end of the song and doesn't miss a beat.

"The Ether" is a mixture of jazz, groove, and maybe even some Jamaican funk (or shall I say, funky reggae). The melody has a pensive quality that is somewhat smooth and angular all at the same time. The horns on this track include tenor sax, muted trumpet, flute, and bass clarinet. Todd Marcus's bass clarinet solo is somewhat haunting and makes me think of the great Eric Dolphy . Todd however, has a unique approach to the instrument and I get the sense that he was telling a story through the instrument. He certainly is fluid throughout the range of the instrument and goes from bottom to the top on his solo.

'Moon Dancin' is the perfect contract to "The Ether' It has an upbeat happy quality. You can almost imagine seeing two astronauts dancing on the moon, bouncing up and down, moving to and fro. The groove is rather contagious and puts you in the mood to wanna shake everything you got. On this track me and trombonist, Greg Boyer do some trading of solos and it sounds like we are having a musical conversation between bone and sax. Keyboardist Federico Pena adds some sultry keyboard playing in the transition section and then leads us back into the original groove in masterful fashion.

"Cosmic Groove" sounds just as the name implies, C-O-S-M-I-C. On this song I try to capture that Miles Davis mystique. The melody has that haunting quality that is reminiscent of his sound, particularly in his jazz fusion period. Russell Gunn's does a great job capturing that majestic muted trumpet sound on his solo. It's a very powerful and pristine sound. My tenor sax solo sounds like a voice crying in the wilderness. I think it's a nice complement to Russell's trumpet solo. Big ups to keyboardist Fred Pena for providing the wonderful sound effects on this track.

Two thumbs up to bassist Dave Dyson for playing the crazy bass line throughout, on the track, "Un-Relatvity Theory." I actually created this bass line by letting my left hand play anything. Whatever note(s) my fingers landed on became the basis for the bass part. Everything else was built on top of that. This song might sound a bit avant-garde, but there is a structure and there is also section that grooves. Listen to the band get down on the groove section. Benjie Porecki is lighting that B3 organ up. It doesn't get any funkier. The ending of this song is classic! I got the entire band playing that crazy bass line all the way to the end. How is that for the law of un-relativity?

"A Million Year" brings back spoken word artist, Brother Yao. Like a storyteller he is dropping the science and preparing his audience for what's to come, yet what has already been, the 'Black Planet."

"Black Planet" is the next stop on our musical journey through the cosmos. This song is all about groove and melody. Can't go wrong with that recipe. And Roy Hargrove is the perfect candidate for such a song as this. Drummer Eddie Holman III locks that groove down and everybody just settles in for the ride. Roy turns it up on his solo and Federico fills the holes with some slick piano lines and harmonic progressions. This is another song I saw fit to channel some Grover Washington on my solo. This song definitely has that groid quality.

"The Big Bang" track continues in groove-like fashion with a slightly faster tempo. This song has that "feel-good" quality and it's certainly easy on the ears. Russell Gunn takes a fiery solo that is truly captivating. I follow with a more subdued but no less interesting solo of my own. I think listeners will really like how the song climaxes to an abrupt ending.

"Planetentiary Theme is a song that basically wrote itself. This song was a gift to me. It came to me without much challenge or frustration. I think listeners will be able to relate to this track on many levels. It has a contagious melody and it sounds like musical celebration. All of the musicians play wonderfully and capture the essence and spirit of the song. I think it is only fitting to be the theme song of this project.

"Liquid Love' is the ballad of this recording. i was trying to capture that 70's sound and evoke the brother and sister with the afro demonstrating Black love. But it could also reflect the Love Movement, or the unity of all peoples. If you were a hippie, you might be inclined to pull out that blunt while listening to this (although I'm not attempting to promote the use of illegal substances). Everyone sounds beautiful on this track but flutist Jamal Brown really is the icing on the cake here. Listen to how his beautiful flute sound brings the track to its conclusion. Percussionist Sean Anthony also adds to the palette of music colors on this track, as well as on all of the other tracks. It's all about the love.

"Planetentiary Outro is just a short groove-out song. it just uses live horns, keyboards, midi tracks and sound effects (thanks to Fred
Pena). We exit as we enter......Groovin'!

The final 3 selections: 'Liquid Love Outro; "The Universe Is Funky"; and "A Million Years" all feature spoken word artist, Brother Yao. These are the full versions of his spoken word pieces. Each piece speaks for itself. Listen and you will see why, the Universe Is Funky!.

Thank You,

Antonio Parker 2016



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