Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
181

Evan Parker's Electro-Accoustic Ensemble: Memory/Vision

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count Views
Evan Parker's Electro-Accoustic Ensemble: Memory/Vision In 1968 Miles Davis' use of the Fender Rhodes electric piano on Filles de Kilimanjaro caused quite s stir. This same year saw a seminal classical/electronic music release entitled Switched on Bach by Walter (now Wendy) Carlos, a set of Johann Sebastian Bach compositions played on the then-new music synthesizer. 1968 was also the year the Beatles pioneered the use of studio wizardry on songs like "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "I Am the Walrus." The point being this: jazz has a strong streak of conservatism, and it has lagged a bit behind the curve on bringing electronic tweakings into its sound.

It seems jazz is trying to catch up in that field now, with the very successful incorporation of samples and loops into an acoustic realm by—to name just two—Dave Douglas and Mathew Shipp.

With Memory/Vision, soprano saxophonist Evan Parker has more than incorporated electronica; he's used it as a foundation of his music, and at the risk of sounding like a conservative curmudgeon, it doesn't work.

The Electro-Acoustic Ensemble is saxophonist Parker's core quartet of sax, piano, bass and violin, with four electronic/computer specialists mixed in, stirring up an atmosphere almost completely lacking in any type of organic vibrancy. Perhaps that's the point, but it's not a good one. The experience is one of droning soundscapes and electro knocks and rattles, twitters and blips, computer squeals and washes of dead grey noise, like a soundtrack to a science fiction movie exploring some grim themes of societal degeneration.

Four electronics/computer specialists is about three too many. It's an interesting listen for a spin or two—this, in some form, may be the next big thing in jazz—but ultimately the disc seems destined to collect dust.

Visit ECM Records on the web at www.ecmrecords.com .


Track Listing: Parts 1-7

Personnel: Evan Parker--soprano saxophone; Philipp Wachsmann--violin, electronics; A. Fernandez--piano, prepared piano; Barry Guy--double bass; Lawrence Casserley--signal processing instrument; Joel Ryan--computer, sound processing; Walter Prati--electronics, sound processing; Marco Vecchi--sound processing, electronics

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Electronica


Shop For Jazz

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
General Articles
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Tie the Stone to the Wheel
Tie the Stone to the...
Fataka
2016
buy
Filu ‘e Ferru
Filu ‘e Ferru
Self Produced
2015
buy
Extremes
Extremes
Red Toucan Records
2015
buy
[no cover]
Rocket Science
Tzadik
2013
buy
[no cover]
What / If / They Both...
Tzadik
2013
buy
Vaincu.Va! Live At Western Front 1978
Vaincu.Va! Live At...
Western Front
2013
buy
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Cecil Taylor Cecil Taylor
piano
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
sax, tenor
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
sax, soprano
Pharoah Sanders Pharoah Sanders
saxophone

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.