Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Evan Parker / Alexander Hawkins: Leaps In Leicester

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Leaps in Leicester furthers a sequence of duets between renowned saxophonist Evan Parker and pianists that already contains such luminous entries as Rex, Wrecks and XXX (Rogue Art, 2013) with Matthew Shipp and Either, Or And (Relative Pitch, 2014) with Sylvie Courvoisier. His partner this time is Alexander Hawkins, a burgeoning presence on the UK scene who fronts his own ensembles and also works with leaders as diverse as Louis Moholo-Moholo and Mulatu Astatke. While it's not their first documented encounter -that was in the unit which recorded Filu e' Ferru (Punta Giara, 2015)-it's their debut as a double header.

On tenor saxophone, his jazzier horn, Parker has developed his own distinctive language. He slides lightly into wiry yet burnished motifs, before appending bursts of astringent multiphonics or expanding rasping kernels into sinuous waves with undemonstrative circular breathing. Hawkins spans the modern jazz piano idiom, from Paul Bley to Cecil Taylor, adding a chiming romanticism to his angular runs and rippling glissandos. Together they create four long form improvisations, three around the 10-minute mark, the last breaching the half hour barrier.

Although captured live in the titular city, the pristine sound brings the interplay into stunning relief. The punning title (for non-British readers, Leicester is pronounced Lester) serves notice of the sly wit which informs the responsive dialogue, delivered in almost constant tandem. They phrase as one, resulting in not only the expected garrulous interchange, but also to suspenseful pauses in "Jump Start" and "Capriole." Both adjust tack at pace, picking up on each other's lines, so that Parker meets Hawkins astutely coiled flurries with chortling bluster.

Each track begins quietly, before gaining mass and velocity. Although he generally refrains from delving under the bonnet, on "Gambade" Hawkins strikes dampened notes, leading to a delicate exchange with Parker's keypad flutters. An unhurried coolly abstract reflectiveness pervades the set, especially on "The Shimmy (For Tony Marsh)," where Parker briefly touches on a lyrical figure at various points during the colloquy. After a measured first half, a stormy passage of thunderous chords and saxophonic lightning presages more intense inventive streams leavened by the only unaccompanied episodes of the set.

It all makes for yet another winning entry into an already illustrious series.

Track Listing: Jump Start; Gambade; Capriole; The Shimmy (For Tony Marsh).

Personnel: Evan Parker: tenor saxophone; Alexander Hawkins: piano.

Title: Leaps In Leicester | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically CD/LP/Track Review
Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones...
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Legacy CD/LP/Track Review
Legacy
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Other Life Forms CD/LP/Track Review
Other Life Forms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Live At Moods CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Moods
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "End Game of the Anthropocene" CD/LP/Track Review End Game of the Anthropocene
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 8, 2018
Read "Blued Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Blued Dharma
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "...don't buy him a parrot..." CD/LP/Track Review ...don't buy him a parrot...
by John Sharpe
Published: January 29, 2018
Read "From Outer Space" CD/LP/Track Review From Outer Space
by Thad Aerts
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "More Songs About Error And Shame" CD/LP/Track Review More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Spiritual Eternal: The Complete Warner Bros Studio Recordings" CD/LP/Track Review Spiritual Eternal: The Complete Warner Bros Studio...
by Chris May
Published: November 1, 2018