Chicago guitarist Jeff Parker spent the first decade of his career, after he finished school at Berklee, gigging and recording with the city’s jazzbo-elite and performing with a little group called Tortoise. Coming aboard for the ensemble’s 1998 “TNT” means Parker wasn’t a part of the ensemble’s high-water mark, the krauty “DJed,” but added in a subtle six-string voice, enabling the group to push simplistic rock stuffs somewhere unique. In every setting he plays, though, Parker’s sturdy bop-informed experiments are easily recognized. So, when the guitarist began issuing albums as a date-leader in 2003 with Delmark’s “Like-Coping,” it wasn’t shocking to hear purposeful compositions aided by the briefest moments of noisy caterwauling. “Song Songs Song” arrived the following year and found Parker, along with Scott Fields, melting influences together on spacious tracks as well as works so dense and indecipherable AACM fans might have winced. Coming together with local imprint Thrill Jockey for “The Relatives,” Parker insinuated a bit of swinging soul-jazz into the formula while using players from the Chicago Underground Orchestra to fill out the lineup. Such dexterous guitar theatrics make Parker a good fit for working with just about any performer. Being paired with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, Ali Farka Touré’s son, on this upcoming date means the Chicagoan’s set to supplant performances contributed by Soulive’s Eric Krasno, John Scofield and Derek Trucks to the recently issued “The Secret.” Touré’s latest outing extends the desert blues of his father’s work with a bit of funky backing. At times, the whole thing comes off like an updated Chi-soul group. At others, John Abercrombie’s ECM work comes to mind. Either approach, though, should allow Parker room to stretch out. (Dave Cantor)
September 7 at Evanston Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, (847)492-8860, 8pm. $15-$27.