Evan Parker - Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Drawn Inward

Glenn Astarita By

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Drawn Inward represents the second “ECM Records” release of the “Electro-Acoustic Ensemble” led by free jazz icon, saxophonist Evan Parker and featuring Parker’s long time associates, bassist Barry Guy, percussionist, electronics ace Paul Lytton and others who supply the live electronics, processing and samples. What may seem to some as being a science project for jazz improvisers, Drawn Inward commences with a composition titled, "The Crooner (for Johnny Hartman)” who of course was a famous balladeer or crooner, also known for his now legendary collaboration with John Coltrane. Here and throughout, electronics experts Lawrence Casserley, Walter Prati, Marco Vecchi and Philipp Wachsmann who also performs on violin and viola generally provide the subtle treatments and live processing in alternating fashion or while dynamically sampling the acoustic instruments of Parker, Lytton and Guy. At times the motifs might feature Guy plucking his bass strings, Parker implementing his infamous circular breathing techniques on soprano and tenor sax and Lytton handling tiny percussion instruments, electronics and cymbals. The groove’s run the gamut from being existential, mystical, solemn or perhaps eliciting a bit of pandemonium or mayhem while the overall picture could also suggest something similar to assembling a puzzle or simply justifying the utilization of electronics in modern free-jazz formats.

On many occasions, the musician’s invoke the sensation of performing on some sort of imaginary plane as the music stretches outward or conveys a truly expansive landscape that seems infinite or unending. Yet in most instances it is up to the listener’s discernment or interpretation although, we have witnessed similar undertakings where the music regresses to the proverbial - man vs. machine syndrome. On Drawn Inward there are no preordained ground rules as the exhaustive intercommunication, inexplicable themes and unique phraseology should supply enough data or stimulus to keep us pondering for a good 65 minutes or so... * * * ½


Evan Parker; Soprano & Tenor Saxophones: Philipp Wachsmann; Violin, Viola, Live Electronics & Sound Processing: Barry Guy; Double-Bass: Paul Lytton; Percussion & Live Elctronics: Lawrence Casserley; Live Electronics & Sound Processing: Walter Prati; Live Electronics & Sound Processing: Marco Vecchi; Live Electronics & Sound Processing.

Visit the ECM website at:

Title: Drawn Inward | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: ECM Records


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