Gil Parris Live at B.B. King's in New York City

Posted by Michael Mueller on March 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM

New York City-based guitarist Gil Parris may be best known for his stellar smooth jazz material as well as being a sideman for artists like Diane Schuur, Joe Cocker, or Blood, Sweat and Tears, but on Thursday, March 22, he let his rock chops take the spotlight during a hometown show at B.B. King's Blues Club.

Gil Parris liveCovering classic tunes from early rock guitar heroes, Parris opened the show with his soulful take on Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing." While it's a daring move to open a show with what is essentially a ballad, by the third chorus Parris's fiery phrasing comprising daring intervallic play, melodic motifs, and extreme slides had the near sell-out audience cheering like it was an encore.

Further demonstrating his diverse stylistic palette, Parris leapt right into some train-whistle blues-infused country pickin', followed by the jazzy "C-Jam Blues" that segued into Miles Davis's "So What" via an envelope filtered scratch groove. Next up was Santana's beautiful ballad, "Europa," which after a short piano montuno turned into a spicy and ferocious Latin dish flavored with slippery, wide-interval legato shred lines.

After a tight, funky groove-fest on The Meters' "Cissy Strut," Parris handed the spotlight to his stellar band for a few numbers, including a monster bass solo from Kip Sophos on "Crosstown Traffic" and soulful vocals from percussionist/singer Josh Dion on the Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart version of "People Get Ready" as well as on the Blood, Sweat & Tears classic "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know."

Parris next brought special guests Bernie Williams (guitar) and Curtis Winchester (vocals) for "I Don't Need No Doctor," which featured the ex-Yankee using cool chromatic passages to bridge bluesy Mixolydian licks in a solid albeit way too low in the mix solo. The night's jam session continued with guitarist André Lassalle joining in the fun, before the evening came to a close with a Latin take on Wayne Shorter's "Footprints."

To keep up with the latest news and Gil's tour schedule, check out his official Facebook page.

Photo by Rick Misrok

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Rick on April 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Thanks Michael! Looking forward to reading your next review.

GuitarInstructor on March 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Rick, sorry about the photo attribution - I thought it was from Gil's page. Credit has been added.

Rick on March 27, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Hey Michael, nice review of a great show. BTW you lifted my pic from FB without any attribution.