Do you know D.C.?
Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.
Jazz bassist Matthew Parrish admits that his concept for the instrument is traditional: “It’s to provide the bottom.” Even as a bandleader, Parrish defers solo space to the other guys in the quartet: tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, pianist Vincent Bourgeyx, and drummer Steve Hass. But as he proves on his band’s debut CD, Circles, released by the local HiPNOTIC label, Parrish thinks like a bandleader: The disc features eight tracks composed and three tracks arranged by the bassist (a hiphoppy version of “Seven Steps to Heaven,” a Calypsofied “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and a bonus cut of Duke Ellington’s “Flirtibird”). Although Parrish shows some flashes of Christian McBride’s eclectic leanings, his playing leans more toward that of Ray Brown and his distinctive triplet-laced attack. Parrish’s compositions follow more of a mainstream path, too, including “This One’s for Al,” a tribute to his former employer, swing trombonist Al Grey, who died in 2000. See Parrish lead, from the bottom up, at the release party for Circles, which begins at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $16. (202) 337-4141. (Christopher Porter)