Arguably one of the most important underground producer/DJs in EDM culture, Theo Parrish lends his hands to selecting and mixing a set of jazz and funk records originally released on the obscure Black Jazz label from the years 1971-1976. Snow Dog Records will be releasing Theo Parrish's Black Jazz Signature on August 20th, 2013 on 2xLP, cd, and digital. The set itself is a masterful “2 turntables all vinyl” execution, a format that Theo is very much dedicated to – no mp3, no CDr, just the vinyl palette for the true aural experience. You can preview it on Resident Advisor here.
This mix is from vinyl – the only way it would see completion was to send a box of hard to find LPs to a Detroit PO box. With the opportunity to select tracks from the label’s entire output (20 LPs), the multiple submitted versions of this mix were markedly different from each other, the result of working with the shifting medium that is a stack of old records. There is beauty in chance. And ugly too. This mix is firmly in the beautiful end of the spectrum.
On this mix, Theo gives special attention to fellow Chicago musicians The Awakening (Ari Brown, Frank Gordon, Reggie Willis & Frank Galloway), the only proper “group” that the Black Jazz label released, and whose only output was on that label. Even The mini-set (three consecutive songs) is somehow profound, and framed well with tracks by Doug Carn, Calvin Keys, Gene Russell, Rudolph Johnson and Walter Bishop Jr.
His music and sets are often called “hard to categorize”, but the common thread is always the deep, spiritual vibe that surfaces and runs things, perhaps not unlike the Black Jazz label’s mission was some 40 years ago.
Here is the Awakening's "March On", a song off the compilation:
The Black Jazz Signature mix and compilation is out today via Snow Dog Records.