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Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra featuring Marilyn Crispell and Evan Parker: Parallel Moments Unbroken

Matt Parker By

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For this album, living legends in the world of improvised music Marilyn Crispell and Evan Parker joined the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra as featured soloists in these recordings of two separate live performances of the same composition (hence the duplication of some track titles). Parallel Moments Unbroken was written by GIO founding member Raymond MacDonald, and commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for Jazz on 3. It was devised using a combination of graphic scores, through-composed sections, artwork and photography, all of which were based on MacDonald's past musical experiences and relationships with the musicians involved. It explores the relational aspects of improvisation, music-making and life.

Given some of the seemingly apocalyptic sounding moments in the piece, there is clearly a sense of honesty about these various relationships with music and musicians, and the methods employed by MacDonald express these beautifully and unambiguously. Despite the duplication of tracks, there is enough freedom for each of the performers to allow these pieces to develop in different directions, demonstrating how relationships are never static, and as such the listener is not left feeling that they are simply listening to two takes of the same piece.

Overall, MacDonald's concept, Crispell and Parker's individual performances, and the orchestra's extraordinary cohesiveness, despite the loose framework (the effective use of graphic scores being an extremely dark art) all make for a genuinely compelling listen, something which cannot always be said of free jazz. Add to this a superb quality recording and Parallel Moments Unbroken is an essential purchase for fans of free and avant-garde improvised music.

Track Listing: Parallel Signs (e); Parallel Signs (f); Interlude; Parallel Loops; Parallel Melbourne; Parallel Moments; Parallel Songs; Parallel Signs (a); Parallel Signs (b); Parallel Signs (c); Parallel Signs (d); Parallel Signs (e); Parallel Signs (f); Interlude; Parallel Loops; Parallel Melbourne; Parallel Moments; Parallel Songs

Personnel: Marilyn Crispell: Featuring, Piano; Evan Parker: Featuring, Saxophone; Ernesto Coro: Alto Saxophone; Peter Nicholson: Cello; Una MacGlone: Double Bass; Armin Sturm: Double Bass; Rick Bamford: Drums, Percussion; Stuart Brown: Drums, Percussion; Jim McEwan: Electric Piano [Rhodes Piano], Electronics; Adam Linson: Electronics; Emma Roche: Flute; Liene Rozite: Flute; George Burt: Guitar; Neil Davidson: Guitar; Catriona McKay: Harp; Gerry Rossi: Keyboards, Electronics; Gino Robair: Percussion; Raymond MacDonald: Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone; Sue McKenzie: Soprano Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone; Graeme Wilson: Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone; Chris Barclay: Trombone; Sarah Gail Brand: Trombone; Nicole McNeilly: Trombone; Corey Mwamba: Vibraphone; Nikki Moran: Viola; Cliona Cassidy: Voice; Maggie Nicols: Voice; Robert Henderson: Trumpet; Atzi Muramatsu: Cello; Jer Reid: Guitar; Kyalo Searle-Mbullu: Guitar;

Title: Parallel Moments Unbroken | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: FMR Records

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