Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Leon Parker: Belief [Columbia, 1996]
A jazz record, indisputably--an acoustic jazz record. But Parker's commitment to minimal means, catchy tunes, up-front beats, and internationalist percussion suits the soundscape mindset--if anything, ambient wonks may find his structures too clear, his melodies too direct. Moreover, his second album accomplishes these elusive goals so fully that seekers will be compelled to interface with the music as well as the ideas. Which is one idea that's almost always a keeper. A-