Without exception, every time you encounter Leonine Aspects, you come away with a different experience. 'Encounter' not 'listen.' The word 'encounter' signifies both an engagement and a chance happening. Let's back up a bit. This duo between saxophonist Evan Parker and pianist Matthew Shipp was captured from a live performance on August 22, 2017 at Théatre de la Sinne in Mulhouse, France at the Festival Méréo. While the pair have performed together in differing settings, this is only their third duo recording. It follows the double studio/live release Rex, Wrecks & XXX (RogueArt, 2013) and Abbey Road Duos (Treader, 2007). Maybe the paucity of recordings is due to the fact Parker lives in the UK and Shipp in New York. Additionally, both artists keep a very active schedule, at least they did before pandemic.
These duos contain a superabundance of information and to absorb it is an act of immersion, one that changes with each listen. The CD consists of two tracks, one at 51+ minutes and a second just shy of four minutes. The concert has all the Parker/Shipp elements aficionados are familiar with. Parker runs through his celebrated circular breathing patterns and famed chirping bird songs, while Shipp balances his patented thunder attack with his razorsharpened signature fineness. The music is a balance between each musician adding elements to the performance and interacting and responding to the other. The inexplicable factor here is each encounter with this recording yields a different experience. Another way to consider this recording is to imagine it as an LP where you might drop the needle onto different grooves to change the entryway. It is as if you the listener acknowledges the impossibility of stepping into the same river twice, the Parker/Shipp conversation would change, but fundamentally stay the same.
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