The arrival of Marvin Parks on today’s musical scene can be considered a very fitting addition to the renaissance of the Afro-American Jazz Crooner panorama, deeply rooted in the Black Music tradition. Having his roots in Gospel and in the ’50s and ’60s jazz singers by the likes of Nat King Cole, Johnny Hartman and Joe Williams, Marvin Parks yet remains by all means an artist of today.
In his debut Marvin shapes his light baritone colors within the sound of a well-established group of musicians under the direction and production of Nicola Conte. The main idea was to create a soundscape to give a different light to well-known standards and some originals.
The album has been recorded in two main sessions. The first one took place at the Sorriso Studio in Bari, Italy, the same place where Nicola Conte recorded all his albums, with a fantastic line-up including Daniele Tittarelli (alto saxophone), Francesco Lento (trumpet), Pietro Lussu (piano), Luca Alemanno (double bass), Nicola Angelucci (drums), Pierpaolo Bisogno (percussion) and, of course, Nicola Conte himself (guitar). The second recording session took place in Milan, Italy, at the Schema/Ishtar Records Blue Spirit studio, with the same rhythm section and a stellar guest in the person of Logan Richardson (alto saxophone).
The first session brings a strong ’60s Blue Note sound sensation, while the second, surrounded by a sort of African feeling, emanates hints of the historical Coltrane / Davis quintet, reminding the colours of Paris in the sixties… Paris, just by accident, is Marvin Parks’ hometown in these days.
The album is released in two versions: a 3-panel digipack 13-track CD and an indivisible set of two separate LP’s, simply named Volume 1 and 2, for a total of 16 tracks. In the vinyl version the tracklist has been divided, based on the songs mood, on the four sides named as follows: ‘A – The Soul Side’, ‘B – The Afro-Blues Side’, ‘C – The Standards Side’ and ‘D – The Ballads Side’.