282

Evan Parker: Monoceros

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Evan Parker's monolithic 1978 solo record Monoceros was originally released on Incus and has subsequently been digitally remastered for CD release on Chronoscope. Monoceros distinguishes itself in several respects: first, because it was recorded by the direct-cut process, whereby the sound pathway went directly from the microphone to a vinyl master. By virtue of eliminating the tape intermediate, the hope was to reduce noise and limit the need for processing and filters. The important functional consequence of this technology was that the musician (and the technicians) had to get it right the first time. In the context of free improvisation, direct-cut served as self-imposed discipline for purists only. In the present day, this process is mostly obsolete.

On Monoceros, Parker explores a wide range of soprano saxophone work, though most of it is hardly recognizable as such: squeaking, squawking, and birdlike noises persist throughout. The first piece on the record spans a long 21 minutes of essentially uninterrupted solo saxophone, facilitated by Parker's exceptional technical command of the instrument: circular breathing, triple-tonguing, false fingering, etc. The guiding principle of this music, as realized by Parker, was to use technical prowess to remove the barriers between the sounds in his head and the sounds coming from his horn. Generations of saxophone players who followed in Parker's footsteps owe a huge debt to his innovations on the instrument. Indeed, none of Monoceros is easy listening: Parker seems driven to play as freely and outspokenly as possible.

Track Listing: Monoceros 1; Monoceros 2; Monoceros 3; Monoceros 4.

Personnel: Evan Parker, soprano saxophone.

Title: Monoceros | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Chronoscope

About Evan Parker
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read The Real Blue
The Real Blue
By Jack Bowers
Read City Abstract
City Abstract
By Dan Bilawsky
Read Spectrum
Spectrum
By Mike Jurkovic
Read Munich 2016
Munich 2016
By Karl Ackermann