Strings With Evan Parker
is a newly released 3-CD set, presented to us by some of the prime movers and shakers of the British free-jazz, and/or improvised music circuit. And while Parker, performing solely on soprano sax, is not featured on every piece, his commanding presence is felt on the “Double Headed Serpent”, “The Spider’s Web” and a few other predominately lengthy works. Recorded between 1997 and 2000, more than just a few Parker and free-jazz aficionados might rejoice with the arrival of this latest project put to fruition.
Parker’s muscular and patented circular breathing style of attack is noticeably evident on “Double Headed Serpent”, where he advances towards a series of mystifying trance-like sequences, consisting of blazing lines in conjunction with his often-Herculean stamina. Yet as the liners indicate, the saxophonist overdubbed these performances in particular, subsequent to the original Strings-based recording. Here, the string section (and sub groupings) along with various implementations of electronics, bespeak kaleidoscopic textures earmarked with angularity and fervor amid intermittent allusions of gears grinding in some sort of industrial manufacturing plant.
Throughout these often captivating exhibitions, the listener will perhaps rarely encounter any one or two sequences that are repeated for an observable length of time. Basically, the musicians provide us with a glimmering snapshot of improvisational excellence as they perpetuate a hodgepodge of mood-evoking themes via entangled and altogether magnificent fabrics of sound.
Personnel: Phil Durrant; violin: Kaffe Matthews; violin & electronics: Marcio Mattos; cello: Mark Wastell; cello: John Edwards; double bass: Rhodri Davies; harp: Peter Cusack; bouzouki, guitar & electronics: John Russell; guitar: Hugh Davies; strings, springs & electronics: Evan Parker; soprano saxophone (selected tracks)