Summary'This And That', Lizzy Parks' second album on Tru Thoughts, is a fully acoustic affair that flows between melodic, guitar-led ditties, and minimalistic moments of pure sonic bliss wrapped in expansive strings. Produced by Nostalgia 77, this stunning collection of new and exclusive acoustic material, interspersed with beautifully stripped back and re-imagined acoustic versions of songs from Parks' acclaimed debut, is imbued with the characteristic playfulness, sense of romance and lightness of touch that set her apart as a singer-songwriter to watch.
Parks' 2008 debut album, 'Raise The Roof', gained praise and major support from the likes of Laurent Garnier and Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 1); radio play on such diverse stations as BBC Radio 3 and NME Radio; and glowing reviews. She was recently interviewed on BBC 6Music's Funk & Soul Show as part of their special on the highlights of Cheltenham Jazz Festival, where she will be performing in a high profile spot on 28th April.
Illuminating a new side to Lizzy Parks' musical personality, 'This And That' sees this gifted singer-songwriter moving away from the full-bodied jazz band backing of her debut and into a spacious yet multi-textured acoustic terrain occupied by folksy finger-picked guitar, luxurious string themes and the occasional jazz-inspired flute trill, with room enough at the centre for her distinctively charming voice to roam and range. For a prime example of the purely instinctive and joyful way in which Lizzy Parks approaches her craft, track three, the magical "Deluge", is a rework of the epic saxophone track by her musical hero Wayne Shorter; Lizzy's version sees her putting evocative lyrics to the main melody, and twinning the notes of Shorter's improvised sax solo - in this case played by Mark Hanslip - with an inspired vocalize, for a spine-tingling effect, at once both understated and bubbling over with drama. Producer Nostalgia 77, who has long been an integral part of the Lizzy Parks aesthetic, is gaining an enviable reputation as a collaborator and soundsmith of choice, recently producing a groundbreaking album with pioneering avantgarde musicians Keith and Julie Tippett, and enjoying ongoing success with his solo work and full live octet.
In another new spin on the Lizzy Parks sound, and testament to her versatility, March '09 saw the release of a limited edition Lizzy Parks 12" featuring remixes by Natural Self and Eric Lau of two tracks from 'Raise The Roof', prompting excited reactions from the likes of Ashley Beedle (X-Press 2) and play on Ministry Of Sound Radio and Solar Radio, following exclusive inclusion in the Funk & Soul Show's End Of 2008 special, on BBC Radio 2. Although Lizzy Parks is primarily regarded as a rising star of the jazz/soul scene, her sparkle, spontaneity and desire to mix her influences are a breath of fresh air and hold a much wider appeal, which is sure to come to public attention this summer with the release of 'This And That'.