Saturday, December 14, 2019

Brooklyn based baritone saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson presents his new work ‘Imagine Giving Up’

'Stand Still' is the first single taken from the LP, to be released on 7 February 2020 and sees Parzen-Johnson move into new domains of sound as he uncovers newfound energy and pulse in his music.
In addition to the sonically rich analog synth elements that accompany his earlier solo saxophone work, Jonah has layered heavily sound designed samples of his own saxophone to create truly one of a kind percussive snaps, reverberant basses, and warbling leads. At its core, the music remains deeply devoted to almost vocal sounding melodic lines and patiently developed compositional ideas

A compact set of 6 originals, “Imagine Giving Up” is Jonah Parzen-Johnson’s most ambitious album yet. While taking a step away from the previous world of “ambient jazz”, his new music stems from the use of drone-like sounds for baritone saxophone, a style which is uniquely his own. Electronics are blended in for good measure, creating a coherent vision of abstract jazz with depth.

As with all of Parzen-Johnson’s releases, the music comes with a deeper narrative which he will continually explore in live performance. ‘Imagine Giving Up’ is a deep reflection on life choices, risk, privilege and empathy.

In his own words: “Only a few people can really start over. Everyone else is left to struggle down the path they were assigned. The option to give up, to choose your own path, is power, and, hopefully, a call to action: take a risk to help someone.”

“When it comes to solving the deep systematic problems our civilization is facing, everyone has their own role to play. Something suited to their circumstances, and their strengths. I believe my greatest strength is the power that comes from my stability, and every day I try to ask myself how I could be using that strength to help someone else. ‘Imagine Giving Up’ is about documenting my emotional reactions to that practice. Some days I feel defensive, some grateful, others a little over-confident in my beliefs. In the end it's about staying dedicated to the question: If I can imagine giving up, how am I using that power to help someone else?"

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