Evan Parker: Whitstable Solo (2010)
Each solo is a vivid improvisation, whose poetics are as spectacular as they are rooted in the pure romance of using a saxophone to create a short intense episode depicting the palpable turmoil of love. Parker may suggest the heat and energy of a relationship so intense that the music itself rumbles and bubbles and eventually boils over in a volcanic rush, searing the memory with its harmonics. "Whitstable Solo 1," on the other hand, appears as if the saxophonist is screaming at the sky from the highest point of a mountain, announcing his efforts to unravel empirical mysteries with shrill mysticism. On "Whitstable 2" there is a distinct cooling off as the melody and its harmonics appear to be inverted, almost as if the musician were retracting his harsh empiricism. And so on from solo to solo and stanza to stanza, as Parker examines his relationship with the world and its universal truths and idiosyncrasies with untrammeled virtuosity.
This may be Parker's most challenging work yet, but then so was anything that Arnaut Daniel ever wrote, as was the work of Bertran de Born. Yet it is to be approached with equal elements of wonder and delight, as if entering a world both strange and delightful, and full of surprise.
Track Listing: Whitstable Solo 1; Whitstable Solo 2; Whitstable Solo 3; Whitstable 4; Whitstable Solo 5; Whitstable 6; Whitstable Solo 7; Whitstable Solo α-ω.
Personnel: Evan Parker: soprano saxophone.
Record Label: Psi
Style: Modern Jazz