In her book, The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp, the choreographer, who is known for integrating popular music & contemporary dance, writes about skills that she believes foster the creative impulse. Within the descriptions of these skills, she implies that continually retrieving one’s innocence is a means to erase the fear of going forward and making sense out of something new and untouched, therefore advancing the creative vocabulary.
Tharp’s concept of innocence is the core of Luc’s Lantern. Parker has brought to this recording a deep-seeded tenderness that can only reflect on the vulnerability related to a childlike approach to living, periodically spoiled by the interruptions of cultural impositions. The music is devoid of extremes normally associated with Parker and the groups with which he plays. Rather the music is so melodic and loose and set on developing a mood that it is (at least it was for me) a complete surprise.
This recording is about stories of time-gone-by as found in the poetry Parker has written, solely comprising the liner notes. Ten unassuming poems non-sequentially correlate with the tracks on the recording. If you have ever heard Parker speak, you can hear him reciting this poetry. Parker’s speaking voice has metamorphosed into the musical instruments.
As you listen, surely, there are times when you want to cry. There are times when you wish you lived in the dreams of the land of flowers and musical trees. There are times when you empathize with Parker in the longing for the righting of circumstances of the past. There are times when you want to float in the smoke that rises into delicate forms from a wrongful burning. There are times when you want to go nowhere but into the limitless resonance of the bass strings and drift between the pellucid phrases that come from the piano and you want to be brushed by the subtlety of the strokes on the drums. You know where this place collectively is. It is in your heart, no matter how penetrated by melancholy. Your heart knows the joy that comes out of being inexperienced and innocent and full of dreams. You know you have been to this place when you see the light that guides you to a state of being aware. So slowly is the flame that lit the darkness, extinguished.
Tomorrow, you can start the journey all over again, wiser and more prepared to find beauty where it really lies---in the music.
The street date for this recording is March 22.