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For British saxophonist Evan Parker, as well as for the horn quintet September Winds, Short Stories is an unexpected record. Parker has excelled in long-form explorations for decades and with September Winds he has focused on site-specific journeys. The band plays in museums, industrial buildings, exposition halls and even a thermal bath in Switzerland. Their first release, Alder Brook (Leo, 2003), was recorded in a water cistern and a chapel.
Here, however, they retire to the confines of a Swiss studio for this set of 23 pieces, few more than three minutes long. The group focuses more on structure than soloing, and the small vignettes arelike a collection of short fictionconcise and varied: some bluesy, some abstract, some pointed, some smooth. This comes not just from egoless playing. The compositions were built in a variety of ways: by the suggestion of a word or phrase; by deliberate combinations of instruments or players; or by setting dynamic parameters. The surprising part of it is that the brief pieces never seem incomplete. Rather, they're like little windows into possible musicslike short stories that are good enough to be novels but still stand on their own.
Track Listing: Tracks 1-23.
Personnel: Peter A. Schmid, Evan Parker, Jurg Solothurnmann, Reto Senn: reeds.