Freedom of the City 2010
Prevost played twice, notably eschewing the standard kit for an enormous gong and ancillary cymbals in a set with baritone saxophonist David O'Connor, violinist Jennifer Allum and Grundik Kasyansky on electronics. With the saxman expelling high-intensity tongue slaps and yelps; the fiddler striking her strings with the bow's frog when not scrubbing them and Kasyansky dislocating time with bursts of static, crackles and snatches of processed voices, Prevost maintained equilibrium, by sawing upon the gong, squeaking timbres from the tempered metal.
Parker played in a unique trio filled out by cellist Okkyung Lee and brassman Peter Evans, puffing, vocalizing and melodiously sounding his horn(s) with effects and to spectacular effect. With Lee's connective ostinato underneath, Evans' brass command was matched and reined in by Parker on tenor and soprano saxophone, demonstrating how tone-splintering and circular breathing could be amplified with lyrical twitters and peeps.
Also satisfying was the concluding quintet set. Mixing metallic twangs from Coxon's guitar, breakneck piano runs plus jagged synthesizer pumps from Thomas and steady clatter and cymbal scratches from Lytton, the stop-time improvisation reached a pitch of layered cacophony. Before that Ward extended his sound palate from purposely-whiny lines by blowing into his detached mouthpiece. Meanwhile Smith used vibrato buzzes to propel soaring triplets.
Told after that tune ended that the only time remaining was for a short piece, Smith unleashed a curt flourish of brassy insouciance then led the others off stage. Adding showmanship to the proceedings and confirming the slogan above the stage, the trumpeter summed up the festival and set the stage for future FOTCs.