5

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/ Paul Lytton: Live At Maya Recordings Festival

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Evan Parker/Barry Guy/ Paul Lytton: Live At Maya Recordings Festival After twenty one recordings there may not be too much more to say about the superlative English threesome of saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Barry Guy and drummer Paul Lytton. Some 30 years on since their debut Tracks (Incus, 1983), they converse in a language entirely of their own making, which relies on a staggering density of ideas, chops to burn and a preternatural responsiveness. Live At Maya Recordings Festival, captured at Winterthur, Switzerland in 2011 forms another top notch entry into an already distinguished discography.

Nowadays operating as an occasional unit rather than a regular touring ensemble, they nonetheless combine with energy, conviction and passion. If anything they hew closer to free jazz core values in terms of dynamics and intensity, often coming on as a deconstructed power trio, especially when Lytton's percussive clatter coalesces into a surging pulse. There are no preconceptions: each number is completely unscripted, with little recognizable in the way of melody or rhythm, although they do dragoon repeated motifs into the mix to build tension, as part of the bracing exchange of nuance and gesture.

As ever the lead shifts round the group at pace. Parker's tenor saxophone takes prominence in "Obsidian," squeezing out gobbets of thick curdled notes, initially almost in a call and response pattern with bass and drums, but quickly accelerating into a near simultaneous three-way exposition. On occasion audible connections become apparent as when Parker echoes a staccato phrase by Guy towards the end of the cut, but more often that ability to follow even anticipate each other with telepathic accuracy transcends the obvious to produce music through something like alchemy. Saxophonist and bassist exhibit a particular affinity, notably on "Chert" where Guy's bravura bowing intertwines with Parker's soprano muezzin cry, circular-breathed into many braided strands replete with ghostly whistling overtones.

There's so much going on that paradoxically the pieces can sound samey if not listening sufficiently closely. But when digging beneath the sheer surface, the invention astonishes. Sometimes it may be easier to appreciate when there is less happening. Both Lytton and Guy demonstrate their ingenuity in "Gabbro," as solo passages emerge from the flow as part of the natural evolution. Lytton piles textures one atop the other in a rapidfire galloping barrage, while Guy's swooping lines plunge precipitously from the highest harmonics to the very depths and then instantaneously reverse in a flurry of hyperactive resonance. But it remains as a unit where they are at their strongest, and this bulletin from the road suggests that there is still plenty of mileage in their tanks yet.


Track Listing: Obsidian; Chert; Gabbro; Scoria.

Personnel: Evan Parker: soprano and tenor saxophones; Barry Guy: bass; Paul Lytton: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Interstellar Space" CD/LP/Track Review Interstellar Space
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "In Paris: The ORTF Recordings" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The ORTF Recordings
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!