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Nightwork: Live At The Sunset captures an amazing live performance in early 2010 from saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Barry Guy, and percussionist Paul Lytton. The virtuosity and high communication level between these three improvisational masters is front and center for its two improvised pieces. There is a stark contrast in how the three work together in this trio versus the larger context of Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, creating a sound that appears brighter and more direct.
The opener, "Cohobation," starts off with Parker's slow tenor sax answered by Guy's bowed acoustic bass. Eight minutes later, Lytton's skittering drums enter and pick up the pace. A chase then ensues amongst the three, as Guy's rapid plucking kicks in right after the drums, with Parker blowing hard, muscular phrases. Eight more minutes later, the action and tempo slow down briefly, before returning to the breakneck pace, eventually slowing down once again for Guy's solo against a responsive Lytton. Moments later, Parker returns on soprano for a circular breathing solo, eventually met by Guy and Lytton, gently moving with Parker and guiding the piece to a close.
The shorter "Cupellation" opens with all three playing instantly in synch around Parker's bluesy melody. As the piece builds, Guy strums wildly, eventually leading to another engaging duet exchange with Lytton. Every stop, pull, pluck, harmonic, and slurred note that Guy plays seems to push right through the stereo speakers, with Lytton providing just the right space and tension. Parker reenters the dialogue slowly, as the piece accelerates before coming to an abrupt halt. Nightwork: Live At The Sunset presents some great seasoned playing that begs close and repeated listening.
Track Listing: Cohobation; Cupellation.
Personnel: Evan Parker: tenor and soprano saxophones; Barry Guy: bass; Paul Lytton: drums and percussion.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.