Starr Parodi is a talented multi-keyboardist who has scored many different film and TV productions and is seen nightly on the Arsenio Hall Show. The title tune Common Places came out of Starr doing some chordal improvisations on her 1928 Steinway while watching the trees outside her studio window moving in the Santa Ana winds. She just started to play and over the next months the other nine tracks on the album followed in similar spirit.
The second track after the title tune is Stephen Sills’ protest song For What It’s Worth. At the beginning we hear some of the subtle electronic manipulation of the natural piano sound which is carried out on some of the tracks – mostly digital delays and filtering. These are not really jazz improvisations but neither are they classical in nature, so not only does this disc lack an order number, it also lacks a category. The general style is something like the solo piano albums released some year ago on the Windham Hill label by people such as Liz Story. Parodi calls them “stream of consciousness” improvisations.
Track three is the Baroque theme which has so much more going for it than the tired Pachelbel Canon – Albinoni’s Adagio. Parodi’s improvisation is lovely, without jazzing it up or trying to turn it into a Baroque-sounding keyboard piece. Another track on the disc has been getting much attention: her take on the familiar James Bond theme – well-timed with the remake of Casino Royal just being released.
Tracklist: Common Places, For What It’s Worth, Albinoni Adagio, Kenya, We Are Here, Follow Me, James Bond, Forgiveness, Let It Be, Covenant
– John Sunier