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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker/ Matthew Shipp: Rex, Wrecks & XXX

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Few barriers remain in jazz. Certainly not geographical or generational. Even genre does not present insurmountable obstacles. Were it needed, further confirmation arrives in the shape of a meeting between two distinctive stylists: American pianist Matthew Shipp and English saxophone iconoclast Evan Parker. Far from being their first encounter, the pair know each other well, having waxed Abbey Road Duos (Treader, 2007), collaborated during the saxophonist's October 2010 residency at the Stone in New York City, and appeared in duet at the 2011 Vision Festival. What's more piano/saxophone duets form a significant strand in the Shipp's discography (Rob Brown, Roscoe ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Evan Parker at the The Vortex

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Evan Parker, John Edwards, John Russell The VortexLondon November 21, 2013 Outside the Vortex a man turned to me and said, “Well, I was expecting something, you know, a bit radical but nothing quite like this!" I knew just what he meant. We had just come outside for some air after the first half of improvised music played by Evan Parker (saxophones), John Edwards (bass) and John Russell (guitar) and I had to agree with the guy--I was expecting something radical but nothing quite like the sounds delivered by the trio inside. This ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/ Paul Lytton: Live At Maya Recordings Festival

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After twenty one recordings there may not be too much more to say about the superlative English threesome of saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Barry Guy and drummer Paul Lytton. Some 30 years on since their debut Tracks (Incus, 1983), they converse in a language entirely of their own making, which relies on a staggering density of ideas, chops to burn and a preternatural responsiveness. Live At Maya Recordings Festival, captured at Winterthur, Switzerland in 2011 forms another top notch entry into an already distinguished discography.Nowadays operating as an occasional unit rather than a regular touring ensemble, they nonetheless ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker: Vaincu.Va! Live at Western Front 1978

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Love or hate it--digital technology has allowed for the reissue of long out- of-print LPs. Once only the province of collectors, Evan Parker's early solo saxophone LP recordings have been reissued as CDs on his Psi label for the past decade. The British saxophonist, a champion of the extended solo improvisation remains a vital voice today. These reissues shed light on his experimental and innovative sound.Indubitably, the next step in this process is to release unearthed concert recordings.This live disc is a first-class recording, captured at Western Front--a Canadian artist-run- center for contemporary art and new ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Evan Parker Electroacoustic Ensemble: Hasselt

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Evan Parker Electroacoustic EnsembleHasseltPsi2012Although Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble had recorded five albums for ECM since 1997, in 2009 saxophonist Parker's Psi label released SET under his own name; the album was effectively by the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, sharing its personnel, instrumentation and working methods. At the time, it seemed as if it might have been released under Parker's name for contractual reasons. Now, with the release of Hasselt, the plot thickens; it is credited to Evan Parker Electroacoustic Ensemble (note the--significant?--absence of the hyphen and the capital A) and the personnel includes founder ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Evan Parker: Deciphering the Noise

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Imagine for a moment that the average jazz enthusiast is similar to a competent swimmer: safe within the confines of their local pool they're comfortable, perhaps a little brash.Individual lanes silently determine your path whilst lifeguards monitor your tempo with their special brand of overprotective nonchalance. Even the reassuring sting of chlorine serves as a constant reminder, protection from the unpleasant, the random.Now pluck this unsuspecting musical metaphor from the familiar embrace of the community pool and cast it into the unpredictable seas of free improvisation. Once sustained by common devices, the swimmer is now buffeted ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker / Wes Neal / Joe Sorbara: At Somewhere There

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Why, you might ask, does Evan Parker perform free jazz in trio, a format more identified with rhythm-based jazz? The answer is quite evident on At Somewhere There, a 40-minute improvisational interaction with two new partners.This trio's rhythm is supplanted by energy, animation, and a certain verve; but then, Parker has been at this for many years. Beginning with late-1960s noisy free jazz, he has developed his own language of saxophone virtuosity that includes circular breathing and extended techniques, all creating a new vocabulary for the horn. His many interests include electro-acoustic ensembles, large formats, solo performances, and ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Parker / Lee / Evans : The Bleeding Edge

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Parker / Lee / EvansThe Bleeding EdgePsi2011 The coming together of American trumpeter Peter Evans, Korean (now New York-based) cellist Okkyung Lee and English saxophonist Evan Parker is a fine example of the trans-continental links that connect improvising musicians across the world. Despite their coming from three continents, it was no surprise when the three finally played as a trio; if anything, there was an inevitability about their coming together to play in October 2009 during Parker's two-week residency at The Stone in NYC. In 2008 Lee and Evans had played in ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, Huddersfield, UK, November 18, 2011

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Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic EnsembleBates MillHuddersfield, UKNovember 18, 2011 From tiny sextets do mighty 18-piece chamber ensembles grow. 21 years ago, improvising saxophonist Evan Parker first put together his original Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. Five ECM CD's later--not to mention Set on Parker's own psi label--the Evan-expanding EPEAE premiered Tesserae, its next release, at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. This was Parker's third Huddersfield commission, itself a mark of his stature across a range of musical genres. And just as the ensemble has grown in size, so its music has developed exponentially too. Where ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Evan Parker's Psi Label Celebrates First Ten Years

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November 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of saxophonist Evan Parker's Psi label. Its first release, the fine Parker solo album Lines Burnt in Light, was recorded on October 11 2001 and released within a month of recording. In the following decade, the label released a total of 83 CD's of which 14 were re-releases including 13 that first came out on Parker's former label, Incus. In the past five years, the number of re-releases has steadily dwindled, although some significant Incus recordings still remain to be re-released. Of the label's output, roughly half features the playing of Parker ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker & konstruKt: Live at Akbank Jazz Festival

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The Akbank Jazz Festival, which is held annually across several venues in Istanbul, Turkey, gives local acts the opportunity to play with international musicians. The venue lures some big names, with the Sun Ra Arkestra, John Surman, the Count Basie Orchestra and Evan Parker among those who have performed in the past. konstruKt performed with Peter Brötzmann in 2008 and with Bik, Bent and Braam the following year. They wanted to play with Parker. who agreed to their request. and joined them in what turned out to be a rousing encounter, documented on Live at Akbank Jazz Festivalc.The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker & Matthew Wright: Trance Map

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Trance Map is part of an ongoing body of work on Psi that includes past releases by Joel Ryan and DJ Sniff, which each used Evan Parker's music as source material to be manipulated to create new works. Whereas Parker was not an active participant in those recordings, for this album he has worked collaboratively with Matthew Wright to create Trance Map, to the extent that each is credited with “co-composition." Wright is a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he teaches modules related to composition and sonic art; he also runs the university's ensemble Contact ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker / Barry Guy / Paul Lytton / Peter Evans: Scenes In The House Of Music

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Saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Barry Guy and drummer Paul Lytton have playing together in one form or another since 1972. Their longtime association has created improvised magic, and their appearances are legendary. In 2009, the trio shared the stage with trumpet phenom Peter Evans at Casa da Música, and this impressive recording is the result.The Parker/Guy/Lytton trio was first documented on Tracks (Incus, 1983). Since then, they have released multiple discs, the last being Nightwork (Marge, 2010). They have also, from time to time, collaborated with other artists such as pianists Marilyn Crispell and Alexander von Schlippenbach, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker / Barry Guy / Paul Lytton: Nightwork: Live At The Sunset

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Nightwork: Live At The Sunset captures an amazing live performance in early 2010 from saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Barry Guy, and percussionist Paul Lytton. The virtuosity and high communication level between these three improvisational masters is front and center for its two improvised pieces. There is a stark contrast in how the three work together in this trio versus the larger context of Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, creating a sound that appears brighter and more direct. The opener, “Cohobation," starts off with Parker's slow tenor sax answered by Guy's bowed acoustic bass. Eight minutes later, Lytton's skittering drums ...



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