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Biography

Michael J. Parlett (also known as Mike Parlett) is a prominent British saxophonist and record producer whose musical abilities were born of the 1980 jazz music genre. With the end of disco music in the US, a subgenre of jazz music emerged and later became popular in the UK. Michael plays jazz and gospel in this style which is characterized by R&B, funk, and pop known as pop fusion jazz (or “Smooth jazz”). Residing in Los Angeles Michael is one of the principal music consultants and editors for the Movie Post Production House, Sonic Magic Studios in Culver City, California.

As a young man, Michael first pursued a career in an accountancy firm in London but later in 1982 realized his passion for music, playing in London pubs and clubs on drums until he found his true calling on the saxophone. In 1993, he obtained a Bachelor Music degree at Goldsmiths, University of London and thereafter, a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) at the Middlesex University in 1994, where he was nominated for the distinctive Arts Foundation of England award.

Parlett's musical talents include his ability to play all saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone) and the blowing of the shofar. He is also a flautist playing the concert flute, piccolo, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Indian flutes, as well as the Yamaha WX7 Wind Synthesizer and Akai EWI electronic musical instruments that are played like a saxophone, recorder, trumpet, and clarinet. Wind synthesizers are often labeled as being significantly more expressive in making music because the volume of the musical notes is controlled by the player's breath. Michael is often seen playing two saxes at the same time ala Roland Kirk. He is also becoming known as a vocalist at his live shows.

National Geographic Channel consulted with and featured Michael in an episode of "America's lost treasures," a new series aired Summer 2012 where they filmed a documentary about the C melody saxophone which was popular in the 1920s. [1]

Grammy Award winning musician, Joe Vento wrote: “Michael is an orchestral woodwind specialist and a much sought after musician/performer. His brilliant performance on orchestral woodwind instruments radiate with intense, unusually unique conceptualization and interpretive qualities which commands respect towards all written musical literature.

Parlett has played alongside some of the world’s biggest names – artists such as Jeff Lorber, Roy Ayers, Lulu (singer), The Jones Girls, Jeff Lorber, Simply Red, Joey Negro Les McCann and Paul Brown – but he also runs his own management company, agency and record label, Talented Productions. He has performed and recorded with many top artists around the world, performing at venues such as Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, Jazz Café, Café Royal, The Royal Albert Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Blues Alley and many other establishments both in the USA and internationally.

In 2005, Parlett recorded and produced his own CD which he titled, Waiting on You, featuring many UK session musicians and singers including Incognito’s Joy Rose, UK singer Wayne Hernandez and George Michael's keyboardist Luke Smith. In 2012 he released his second solo project with Michael Jackson's drummer Ricky Lawson, Smooth Jazz superstar Chris Standring and many other prominent session musicians. The album is called 'Keep it Moving' The album was recorded at Talented Studios in Los Angeles. While residing in Los Angeles, he has mentored many college sound engineer interns, both at the community college and university levels.

Relocating to the US in 2006, by the following year Michael performed alongside Peabo Bryson at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, California. He has since played with Jeffrey Osborne and Randy Crawford to mention a few and he continues to work as a session musician and producer, working with such renowned artists as grammy nominated Jeff Lorber, Norman Brown (guitarist), Najee, and Eric Benet while broadcasting his radio show, The Mike Parlett Show and more recently a new show called Straight Ahead on Solar Radio, via internet to the UK from his own studio in Southern California.

Parlett's radio shows have gained much prominence over the years[citation needed] featuring special guest interviewees on a weekly basis. Michael will usually have the artists talk about themselves and play with him live on the show. Such names featured in the programs have included artists such as producer keyboardist George Duke; guitarist Peter White; Patrice Rushen; David Benoit; Brian Culbertson; Dave Koz and many others.

He is regularly called by CBS radio 94.7 The Wave to appear at their venues around Los Angeles as a featured artist to the station's Promotions.

Parlett is also a prominent member of the American Federation of Musicians and since he has been living in the US has been leading a big band of fellow members including some of Los Angeles' premier session musicians. The band is called Psych, The Unexpected big Band [2] and has been performing at various venues throughout Southern California for the last few years. The band also offers composers a forum to have their music played by top pro musicians at rehearsals and performances.
 
More About Mike Parlett

Discography


Waiting on You - 2005

Keep It Moving - 2012
 
 

Inspiration

Q:What is your internal experience when you feel REALLY connected to the music?
A:I feel an all encompassing sense of abandon to the rhythm and melodies in an almost meditative state.
 

Education

  • University of London
 

Videos





 

Images