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I pity the Evan Parker completist. Like David Murray fans of the 1990s or Anthony Braxton collectors before that, keeping up with the output of Mr. Parker can be taxing. I count five new releases in the first month of this year!
Luckily if you had to buy just one Evan Parker disc this year, without a doubt find a copy of Lines Burnt In Light. This solo soprano saxophone recording, just over one hour of music, was from a live concert in London this past October. Sure Mr. Parker has recorded solo sessions before, his Chicago Solo (Okka Disc 1995) comes to mind. But he has recorded nothing this hypnotically compelling in a solo setting. This session comprises three lengthy circular breathing tracks of extended saxophone technique. A casual listen, and you would believe the music was processed or looped. A closer listen reveals the masterful touch and a physically demanding presentation with no studio effects! Those of a weaker heart (for outward jazz) can listen at lower volumes or perhaps in bits and pieces. Fans of Evan Parker's astral traveling music, such as his raga music from the 2000 Dark Rags (Potlatch) with Keith Rowe, with surely be pleased with this mesmerising music.
Parker plies a relentless attack of musical lines. Returning and reworking each as if it were a chant or poem. This isn't pure power jazz as much as it is a persistent, seemingly perpetual line of thought. Each listen is cause for dreaming, day or night.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.