The Ryan Driver Quintet Plays The Stephen Parkinson Songbook is the first official release by The Ryan Driver Quintet, a peculiar lounge-jazz group that has been performing monthly in Toronto since the turn of the millenium. This group breathes a strange new kind of life into popular ballads from the 1930ís, 40ís, and 50ís. They fill their renditions with psychedelic improvisational meanderings and intertwinings amidst rich tenderness, utter heartbreak, and doorways into other worlds.
But this album is a collection of new songs by Stephen Parkinson, a Toronto composer known for his academic contemporary, electronic, and improvisational endeavours. The songs are about love, and half of them have the word 'love' in the title. They were written especially for the quintet and are very much in keeping with the spirit of Tin Pan Alley.