"How Animals Move"
Among other things, "How Animals Move" is a sketch of how John Parish moves. Much of the album was recorded in Bristol, England, the multi-instrumentalist's base, but it also includes music put to tape in Wales and at Louise Goffin's house in Los Angeles. Despite the changing scenery -- and shifting cast of characters -- these 13 mostly instrumental pieces hold together.
The odd track, oddly enough, is the one featuring Parish's best-known collaborator, PJ Harvey. Her version of "Airplane Blues," recorded with Parish for a Bristol exhibition about wing walkers, is an energetic but conventional simulation of old-timey blues. Some of the other tracks are just as forceful, notably "The Florida Recount" and "Bernadette," but their dominant voices are instrumental. Among the principal players is violinist Clare Mactaggart, whose featured passages suggest the Dirty Three, the violin-led Aussie instrumental-rock band. While Parish wrote or co-wrote all but two of these pieces, his guitar, keyboards and drums don't dominate the sound. "How Animals Move" is a sideman's idea of a solo outing, and that works out fine.
-- Mark Jenkins
Appearing Wednesday at Black Cat. * To hear a free Sound Bite from John Parish, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 8103. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)