On Tuesday, March 29th, “Five Leaves Left: A Tribute To Nick Drake” by the Jason Parker Quartet was released. Each day thereafter I wrote at length about one of the tracks – how the arrangement came about, what went down in the studio, thoughts about the performances, etc. Click here to read them all.
Click the play button to listen to the track while reading
If any song on Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left could be said to swing, “Man In A Shed” is as close as you’ll come! Danny Thompson’s bass line is so filthy, and Paul Harris was asked back to lay down some nice piano. Because of this, I decided that our version should take that swing to the next level!
I knew Evan would love that bass line, and as soon as he heard it he launched into “fat man swing” mode with a huge smile on his face. Much of Evan’s music shies away from that kind of swing, but when he wants to, he can lay it down with the best of ’em. Add to that Josh’s bluesy licks and D’Vonne’s rock-solid time and you’ve got yourself a winner!
We recorded this on the third and final day in the studio, and it is take one (of only two) that you hear on the album. We all came in with renewed vigor after a long day two, and this was the first thing the whole band tried, after Josh and I laid down “Saturday Sun” as a duo (we’ll talk about that in a couple days). Obviously, the freshness served us well.
I had to coax D’Vonne into the little solo at the end, and I’m glad I did. He got the chance to open up a bit after playing so subtly on most of the record. His solos are always so musical and killin’!
And while I don’t like fade-outs on jazz records all that often, I thought this was a good candidate. It feels as if the song might’ve gone on forever! Be sure to dig Josh’s Art Blakey quote at the very end too.
For comparison purposes, here’s the Nick Drake version of the tune:
Tomorrow we’ll talk about track 9, “Fruit Tree”.