Though it may seem cliché, some artists are meant to be in the spotlight, the focus of attention, the center of the universe, while others are meant to be the spotlight itself, the device of illumination that serves to place the focus on other people or things with its radiance.
For multi-instrumentalist, producer Chris Parks, the latter holds true, which isn’t to say that his talent takes a backseat to anyone’s, but rather that his talents have been honed to be used best in highlighting others’ work.
To date Parks has performed as a musician with such notables as Amel Larrieux, Elisabeth Withers, Rashaan Patterson, George Duke, Najee, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Reuben Wilson, Patti Austin, Deborah Cox and was the musical director for Lalah Hathaway for over 15 years.
Having tackled the field of live performance, Parks’ unknowingly began work on what would be his next challenge, that of a producer/engineer. What began as recording demos for students and other musicians during his time at Berklee College, ultimately led to the creation of SuprDupr Sound Studios, a large scale recording operation nestled in Brooklyn’s artistic D.U.M.B.O. neighborhood.
As a producer, Parks worked tirelessly, remixing songs by artists such as: Brandy, Regina Carter, Taylor Dayne, Tamia, Dianne Reeves Sean Levert, and Paula Cole. In addition, Parks has also written, mixed and or produced for a number of artists including jazz artists Khani Cole & Jeff Kashiwa, Freedom Bremner (Star Search), Mario Vazquez (American Idol), Amel Larrieux, and Lalah Hathaway.
As an engineer, Chris has created soundscapes, programmed, and or composed for a variety of musical and gaming companies, including: Sony, Bandai, Korg, Ensoniq, and MOTU. He has also composed or produced commercial jingles for such heavyweight clients as Canon, Cover Girl, Volvo, Dark & Lovely and X-Box and in addition, had the title track in the film Moonlight Serenade in 2009 (starring Amy Adams & Alec Newman)
Parks along with writing partner Vivian Sessoms released a debut cd in 2007 entitled Sunny One Day, under the moniker of ‘Albright’ to much favorable praise. Also coming sometime this year is a solo project from Chris, which he says will be a mash-up of styles.
In looking over Parks’ body of work, it becomes abundantly clear that it glistens with the names of collaborators that clearly belong in the spotlight. It also becomes increasingly clear, however, that in many cases the very spotlight is Chris Parks himself.