Jeff Parker The Relatives

Grant Green has come back from the dead and he's living in Chicago. Jeff Parker has created a mellow song suite; this is certainly not another chamber jazz album. There's very little concept to The Relatives just tuneful playing with straightforward soloing. Even engineer John McIntyre seems to be imbued with the spirit of Rudy Van Gelder given the warm feeling to the recording. This is not a session that searches for new sounds, only the time signatures hint at any kind of avant-jazz edge — although the playing downplays how tricky these songs actually are. "Mannerisms” sounds like a more insistent version of "In A Silent Way” with Corea-like keyboard bombs. The Marvin Gaye cover "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You” could have been on a Richard "Groove” Holmes album from the ’70s, there’s probably a place for a track like this at some late night session in Camden Town. Only "The Relative” has a sense of experimentation, with its dubby Rhodes and thematic segue into "Toy Boat.” This disc isn’t full of surprises, but it’s enjoyable and would make for a congenial restaurant atmosphere. Egads, that’s faint praise. (Thrill Jockey)