AIR PARMA (Wing Ding) Air Parma
Quirky masterful Pop music by veterans of both the live and studio worlds of music. This is an excellent example of quality music that still rocks for grownups. Air Parma is such a tight, capable unit that they do an interesting twist on gigging here in town -- they feature a different songwriter to back up at every gig, like The Last Waltz. They do a set themselves, and do another set backing up that evening's featured songwriter. They don't call it Music City for nothin.
This debut record on Wing Ding is a stone groove, and foretells great things. Save one by drummer Vince Santoro, the songs are from the pen and pick of George Marinelli, who did a lot of playing with Bruce Hornsby and the Range, as well as Bonnie Raitt, to name just a couple. I've heard him spoken of as one of the best at handling both rhythm and lead guitar at the same time, moving between the two roles seamlessly, it's a real art. Marinelli's voice sounds uncannily like the very young Donald Fagen, so his intelligent and humorous lyrics sound totally in step, but there's not a derivative note.
Mark Prentice is on bass, vocals, and keyboards. He plays an excellent guitar solo on "Still Wondering," a Curtis Mayfield or "What's Goin On" kinda song that's my personal favorite. He's a respected producer and bandleader here in Nashville, and The Fairfield Four are among his production credits.
Vince Santoro has done a lot of touring with Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash and others, and he has many records to his credit. He wrote and sang "Good Things" on this record.
In contrast to the lighthearted feel of the music, many serious topics get handled thoughtfully. There's a lot more going on than the book of love and the lack thereof. The tonal interplay between these great musicians comes only with experience of this magnitude, and I found it very enlightening. It's a beautiful record, you shouldn't be without it.